Dry needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles (without injectate, hence "dry" needling) are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments or around nerves in order to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is not acupuncture in the sense that it does not have the purpose of alternating “Qi” along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases. In fact, dry needling is a modern, evidence-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal problems such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, headaches or low-back pain.
So why "electro"? Adding a light amount of electric current to the needles does the following:
IT DECREASES INFLAMMATION: the medical literature is abundantly clear that trigger points, or painful knots in muscles, harbor inflammatory chemicals. Electroacupuncture / electro-dry needling has been shown in multiple studies to decrease this inflammation within the tight or injured muscles, thereby decreasing pain.
IT IMPROVES BLOOD FLOW: Again, when a muscle, tendon or even nerve is injured, it is probably obvious that increasing blood flow to that area is beneficial. Electroacupuncture can increase blood flow to muscle trigger points, to arthritic joints, to injured tendons / ligaments(tennis elbow, shoulder tendinitis or plantar fasciitis), and to compressed nerves as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
IT DECREASES CHRONIC PAIN: If you have had pain for a longer period of time, your pain has become chronic. This means that you have changes in your brain and spinal cord that make you hyper-sensitive to pain. Elecro-dry needling can act to rapidly reduce this hyper-sensitivity, thereby reducing your pain. This process really helps with chronic neck and low back pain as well as fibromyalgia (this doesn't mean that it doesn't work fantastic for people with acute pain because it does great for acute pain too).
People often ask, "is it painful?" To that I simply say, sometimes you literally don't even feel the needles. Sometimes there is a slight prick. And no, the electric part is not bad either. 99% of people who have this treatment say that the minor discomfort is well-worth the pain relief and increased mobility they get from these treatments.
If you have any further questions, please give me a call at (606) 425-4665 or visit LivingBetterPT.com for more information.