Beginner’s Guide to Dry Needling

While doctors try to heal everything either by cutting or drowning it in medication, a rising number of patients has become interested in alternative healing methods. One of them is the technique of dry needling. The way it works is quite simple - a very thin, sharp needle is pushed through the skin and deep into the muscle, aimed at a particular trigger point. This can help break a knot in your body which creates painful muscle spasms. Here are a few more things you need to know about this interesting healing technique.

What Does Dry Needle Mean?

The term wet needle means a hollow-bore instrument which is meant for the delivery of various agents such as corticosteroids and anesthetics. On the other hand, a dry needle isn’t used for an injection of any kind. Its only goal is to target an area of contracted muscles or even to touch the bone and stimulate the nerves on its edge. Put simply, it is nothing more than a directed deep tissue massage. Another thing deep needling does is cause a small amount of inflammation. The bleeding it creates initiates the process of healing.

Not the Same as Acupuncture

A lot of people confuse dry-needling and acupuncture, but these two are definitely not the same thing. The idea of acupuncture revolves around instigating a flow of energy, which is a bit more abstract than what dry needling is about. Another difference is the fact that the only people authorized to use the technique of dry needling are certified physical therapists. 

However, this most often isn’t the case with acupuncture. Finally, most studies agree that acupuncture is a pseudoscience. Recent tests have shown that most of acupuncture’s ‘healing’ effects can be attributed to a placebo effect, whereas dry needling works through real physiological processes in your body. As a final point, where acupuncture is based on the principles of ancient Chinese medicine, dry needling relies on basic anatomical and neurophysiological principles of modern Western medicine.

Why is It Important?

According to the National Institute of Health, two out of three adults in the United States suffer from neck pain at least once in their lifetime. While to some people, this particular ailment may seem benign, those who have experienced it know that it can seriously lower one’s lifestyle quality. 95 percent of all neck pain has a muscular origin. This means that all the pain stems from a muscle, even if the MRI shows a damaged disc or arthritis in the spine. When it comes to treatment, dry needling is one of the most efficient and reliable methods.

Numerous Advantages

The reason why so many people are drawn to this technique is because it brings numerous advantages with virtually no drawbacks. First, it is completely safe, which is something not many medical treatments can boast. Second, it is relatively inexpensive when compared to other therapies. Third, while a lot of different studies argue on the reason why it works, no one can argue its effectiveness. Finally, this particular pain relieving method is quite simple. 

All you need is a skilled and certified physical therapist with the right gear (a set of needles). It doesn’t even require you to go to a clinic since some therapists, like the people from Physits, even do house calls. This means that you can undergo this simple procedure in the full comfort of your home. Needless to say, this saves a lot of time and makes this treatment available even to those with restricted movement.

Conclusion

Dry needling is a perfect example how an invasive (in a manner of speaking) procedure can be completely harmless, while maintaining its full effectiveness. As far as most therapists are concerned, when it comes to soft tissue treatment, it is truly a cutting edge technique. Still, this is not something you can entrust to absolutely anyone. Before you decide to go with a particular therapist, make sure to insist on learning about their certifications. Safety always comes first.
 

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