Dry Needling is a treatment that utilizes tiny needles (as thin as the hair on your head) to penetrate the skin and restore proper function to abnormally behaving muscles. Tender muscles, or trigger points, that can develop in a muscle can create localized pain in that area or send pain signals to other locations. The affected muscles become irritated and cannot function normally, thus restricting movement and causing chronic pain. Dry needling evokes a healing response in the muscles and helps to decrease pain so that the muscles can toler- ate movements and improves overall mobility.
Is It The Same As Acupuncture?
Dry Needling is not Acupuncture. It does not alter the flow of “Qi” along the traditional meridian lines. Dry Needling is a modern, science based intervention for the treatment of muscle pain.
What Does it Treat?
Patients who suffer from the following symptoms may benefit from Dry Needling:
Do I Need A Physician Referral?
Although many insurances do NOT require a referral for physical therapy or Dry Needling, certain insurances may. Call our office at (865) 392-1033 to determine if your insurance company requires a referral for physical therapy.
How Does It Work?
Small, needles (smaller than the hair on your head in diameter) are inserted into the muscle that may be associated with your complaints. This allows the muscle to relax and stimulates the healing process by releasing certain cells that are responsible for tissue healing. These needles cause a mechanical, biochemical and neurological change to the are to help decrease pain and improve tolerance to activity.
Is It Painful?
Most people do not feel the insertion of the needles. If they do feel them, the needle is immediately removed. Many patients find the procedure relaxing.
Are There Side-Effects?
Most patients do not experience any side effects. Although, in some cases the treated area can be sore for 24-48hrs. The soreness is very tolerable and easily minimized with cold/heat and stretching. Drowsiness, tiredness or dizziness occur post treatment in 1-3% of patients. Minor, often painless, bleeding/bruising occurs in 15-20% of treatments. How Long Does It Take To Work? Some patients experience an immediate increase in motion and decrease in pain. Others experience these results the next day. Typically, it takes a few sessions for a lasting positive effect. Dry Needling causes changes on the cellular level as well as with neurological pathways that control pain. All this without any pharmacological drugs. We are looking for a cumulative response to deactivate the muscle spasms, disrupt pain and restore optimal function.