What is Dry Needling?

by | Health & Wellness

A safe and effective treatment performed by a Licensed Acupuncturist at Vida Integrated Health. Dry needling, also known as I”trigger point dry needling” is a pain-relieving technique that involves introducing a thin needle into a band of tight muscle or trigger point. This treatment’s goal is to reduce pain by deactivating trigger points and restoring the muscles’ function.

Dry needling is mainly used to treat myofascial trigger points, but it is also used to target connective tissue, neural ailments, and muscular ailments. The American Physical Therapy Association defines dry needling as a technique used to treat dysfunction of skeletal muscle and connective tissue, minimize peripheral nociception (pain), and improve or regulate structural or functional damage

Chiropractor Neck Stretch

How does Dry needling work?

Before the treatment starts, a professional Acupuncturist will diagnose the areas and trigger points that should be treated. The clinician then inserts sterile and disposable very thin needles into the trigger points or around them.

A trigger point is commonly referred to as a muscle knot, a small, bump-like area of muscle that can be painful to the touch. When a band in a muscle fiber becomes tight after a sudden movement, age, a sedentary lifestyle, or bad posture, it can cause pain, restrict the range of motion, and interrupt normal muscle function. If left untreated, these trigger points may get worse over time.

Dry needling works by stimulating these trigger areas with a very thin needle inserted in the tissue for seconds or minutes, depending on the severity of the “knot.” Once the area becomes stimulated, our body will naturally release its own “Pain killers” to the area, thus reducing the muscular pain.

Does Dry needling hurt?

These types of treatments are typically not painful. Many people have reported it as a relaxing experience. While others say they feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted, it is much less than the prick you feel during injection as the needles are very fine. Others may feel a slight weight, numbness, or tingling sensation.

The needles used during dry needling are extremely thin, eight times smaller than vaccine needles, so you can barely feel them. Besides, these needles do not inject fluid, they just stimulate the muscles, and they do not cause bleeding.

What are the differences between dry needling and acupuncture?

Dry needling, a technique used by Acupuncturists for years, adopted by Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and medical doctors. Both acupuncture and dry needling use the same tools. However, people think that the main difference is that dry needling practitioners have a different philosophy, which is untrue.

Many people say that dry needling focuses more on the musculoskeletal structure, while acupuncture focuses mainly on the muscles. As per ancient Chinese medicine, the meridian points where needles are inserted represent the organs. Acupuncture is based on the idea of restoring balance and energy in the body. While dry needling focuses on pain relief, it is a modern treatment based on western medicine.

As you see, some people claim that the difference between dry needling and acupuncture is their philosophy. However, in reality, there is no significant difference between the two practices other than training hours and practice. Acupuncturists have three years (or at least 1365 hours of supervised training) compared to other Practitioners offering Dry Needling.

Cervical Drop - Gentle Chiropractic Techniques

Who is dry needling for?

We recommend Dry needling for patients that suffer from:

● Back pain
● Neck pain
● Low back pain
● Chronic strains
● Headaches
● Damaged neural pathways post-stroke
● Any type of muscle pain

How quickly can you relieve pain with dry needling?

It depends on the person. However, it can be instantaneous in the first treatment in many cases, where patients may experience an improvement. Pain can be alleviated or speed up regardless of the number of visits, as it depends on the person’s natural ability to generate painkillers. But in general, it takes between two to three times, or in more severe cases, it could be six to eight treatmetns.


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Madison, Ravenna, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett
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