in Physical Therapy
Dry needling, previously known as trigger point dry needling, is a technique where a thin, filiform needle is inserted into muscle and soft tissue. The goal of dry needling is to improve local blood flow, muscle activation, pain, and create a nervous system change for the better.
Modern dry needling utilizes electrical stimulation for the purpose of influencing the nervous system to calm down nerve pain, muscle spasms, or improve muscle activation.
Read more about dry needling in our blog.
While you can needle all over the body for different purposes, within this practice we also regularly focus on dry needling as it relates to your pelvic health. This might address anything from over-active bladder to pudendal neuralgia.
Pelvic floor needling is unique to pelvic floor specialists, and is part of the overall plan of care that will help you achieve your goals. Read more about pelvic floor physical therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is dry needling different than acupuncture?Dry needling is a modality utilized in a rehab plan of care to improve local blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and decrease chronic inflammation in the targeted area. Other modalities, for comparison, are manual therapy, exercise, stretching, and topical treatments like TENs or heat packs. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on traditional Chinese medicine. While they both include single-use needles, the intention and placement differ based off of your goals and purpose of the treatment. Dry needling may be performed by many different clinicians, however acupuncture may only be performed by licensed acupuncturists.
I tried dry needling before and wasn't sure it helped, is it worth trying again?Yes. Every clinician is different in their form of practice and preferred treatment techniques. In terms of dry needling, if you didn't respond well to a more aggressive approach perhaps a more gentle form is needed and vice versa. It's important to communicate to your clinician what worked and didn't work for you before, as you are the expert in your own body.
What is the current evidence behind dry needling?More recent research has been published focusing on the benefits of dry needling. If you are interested in reading up on specific studies, this dry needling company (IDryNeedle) has a quality collection of full-text articles to browse here.
Can I come in just for dry needling?Since dry needling is a modality, and therefore part of your overall rehab program, it is preferred through Worth It PT to have at minimum an evaluation in our Denver clinic. If it is determined by you and your clinician that dry needling is the main reason you'd need to be seen, then you can just return for shorter dry needling sessions vs full length follow-ups.
Does dry needling hurt?Dry needling encompasses small, single-use needles inserted into muscle to achieve desired effects listed above. Piercing skin and soft tissue with a needle can be uncomfortable, however it depends on the area and the amount of sensory nerves per area you have. The back is less sensitive than the pelvic floor, for example. Everyone does respond differently, so it is best to maintain constant communication with your clinician to ensure your comfort and understanding throughout the treatment.
Learn more about dry needling physical therapy on our blog.