Pain Elimination Through Dry Needling Technique: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Dry needling for physical therapy Calgary NW

When it comes to physiotherapy, most people ordinarily think of cold packs, heated towels, stretching exercises and strength-building activities. Yet physiotherapists make use of a broad assortment of treatment techniques to help clients recover from accidents or surgery, handle recurring problems, lower pain and prevent potential future problems. And among the most effective of these treatment options is dry needling.

Shocked? You shouldn't be. Dry needling is a typical procedure applied by physical therapists to help in reducing discomfort, improve range of motion, and speed up the healing process after an injury.

It's often used to treat a wide range of conditions, including neck pains, sports injuries, knee pain, musculoskeletal injuries, workplace injuries, motor vehicle injuries and many types of chronic injuries.

Frequently confused with medical acupuncture, dry needling is an innovative manual stimulation technique that's also used to release tension in exceptionally taut muscles, break up knots of muscle fibers, and lessen discomfort and inflammation.

No matter what you call it, dry needling is a beneficial treatment option for anyone who's recuperating from an injury or other disorder.

In today's post, we'll learn what dry needling is, several common applications for it, and seven benefits you will enjoy from receiving this method after surgical treatment or as a component of your recuperation after an injury.


What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling, also known as trigger point intramuscular stimulation (IMS), is a hands-on stimulation method that's carried out by inserting ultra-small needles into tight or swollen muscles. The filament is then manually rotated to break up muscle fibers and activate the surrounding connective tissues and nerves, which helps decrease discomfort, increase blood flow and promote recovery.

Dry needling is distinct from acupuncture in a couple of ways. To begin with, acupuncture needles are placed in your skin and aren't inserted into the muscle (as with dry needling).

Secondly, acupuncture is typically performed by an acupuncturist, who is trained to identify and deal with inequalities in your qi (life force energy), whereas a dry needling therapist is usually skilled in treating your muscle tissues.


Typical Usage for Dry Needling

Dry needling is a really versatile treatment, and almost all patients can benefit from it, even though they're not recuperating from surgical treatment or an injury. Many times it's used as part of a personalized treatment plan. A few usual uses for dry needling consist of:

  • Sharp and Recurring Pain: Dry needling is exceptionally successful at minimizing intense and chronic discomfort, whether you suffer from it in your soft tissues, joints, muscles or nerves.
  • Body Immune System Enhancement: When you experience pain, your body generates more cortisol, which is a natural hormone. Excessive cortisol may damage your body's immune system, which can leave you more susceptible to infections and illness. Dry needling can help minimize your cortisol levels, which can improve your body's immune system and make you less vulnerable to get sick.
  • Muscle Stress, Spasms and Tremors: If you struggle with spasms and tension in your muscles or tremors in your feet and hands, dry needling can help relax your muscles and decrease the trembling.
  • Nerve Complications: Dry needling can help stimulate nerves that are pinched or compressed due to an injury or persistent disorder, including sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist discomfort.


7 Real Benefits of Dry Needling:

Benefit #1: Diminished Inflammation and Pain

When you hurt a muscle, your body reacts by increasing blood circulation to the injured area and infusing it with white blood cells. This process is understood as inflammation, and it's a natural part of the healing process.

Unfortunately, excessive swelling and inflammation may trigger elevated pain and slow the healing process. Dry needling can help in reducing swelling, provide pain relief and shorten your healing time.

When your physiotherapist carries out the therapy, he or she will insert the filament into the inflamed muscle tissue and physically rotate it to break up the contracted muscle fibers. This stimulation triggers your body's normal recovery process and turns on your muscles' proprioceptors, which relax your muscle tissues and decrease your discomfort.


Benefit #2: Accelerated Healing Process

Whenever you damage your muscles, connective tissues and nerves, they are often left with scars and adhesions, which can place excessive tension on your healthy tissues and joints.

Dry needling is an outstanding treatment for breaking up these adhesions, which will help release tension in your joints and promote blood circulation throughout your body, accelerating the healing process.


Benefit #3: Enhanced Range of Motion

After a muscle tissue or joint injury, you might encounter a limited range of motion, which can make it difficult to move freely and perform everyday activities. Dry needling can help in reducing the tension in your muscles and the adhesions in your joints, which can help improve your range of motion, lessen stiffness and make it more comfortable to move around.

Your therapist will insert the filaments into the compressed muscle fibers and physically rotate them to break up scar tissues and loosen up your muscle tissues. This will help you experience less discomfort and have more overall flexibility in your joints.


Benefit #4: Increased Strength and Mobility

Dry needling can help boost your agility and strength, even in the event that you do not have a muscle or joint injury. Whenever you perform a physical exercise, your muscles constrict and produce lactic acid, which can trigger muscle soreness and diminish your strength over time.

Dry needling can help get rid of part of that lactic acid and minimize muscle ache, which will allow you to build strength and carry out day-to-day activities with less tiredness and discomfort.


Benefit #5: Decreased Risk of Reinjury and Worsening Problems

Injuries are common, but they can be considerably cut down when you collaborate with a physical therapist. Physical therapists employ an assortment of treatment therapies--including dry needling--to help your muscle tissues recover their strength and vigor.

By sparking the body's normal process of recovery and inflammation, dry needling helps guard you from re-injury and helps to stop chronic conditions from worsening.


Benefit #6: Relieved Muscle Spasms and Stress

If you suffer from chronic muscle tension and convulsions, dry needling can help relieve the pain and stiffness you experience. Your physiotherapist will insert the filament into the hypertonic muscles and physically turn it to release the stress. Your therapist may also use minor pressure and stretch your muscles, which can help alleviate your pain and convulsions.


Benefit #7: Lessened Long-Term Discomfort

If you struggle with chronic pain, dry needling can help lessen your pain and make it much easier to deal with your condition. Regular visits to your physiotherapist for dry needling can keep breaking up adhesions and enhancing blood flow to your painful tissues and muscles. This helps decrease ongoing discomfort and makes it more comfortable to get around and perform everyday activities.


Wrapping Up

When carried out by a skilled physiotherapist, dry needling is an extremely effective treatment option for anybody who's recovering from an injury or experiencing recurring discomfort.

It is particularly effective at lessening discomfort, increasing blood flow and promoting recovery, lessening muscle and joint tension and convulsions, and enhancing range of motion and mobility. Consequently, you'll be on the road to recovery quicker, prevent re-injuries and appreciate an overall higher quality of life. 

Call the experienced physiotherapists at Country Hills Physiotherapy in NW Calgary today and we can begin relieving your discomfort. Now booking new appointments!

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