Trempealeau and Independence Chiropractic

Dry Needling

What is dry needling?

Intramuscular manual therapy (IMT), or trigger point dry needling (TDN), is the use of a small needle to penetrate a “trigger point” in an area of muscle that is tight and/or causing pain or decreased performance. The intent of dry needling is to cause the muscle to contract, then relax, therefore releasing the trigger point. The result is improved muscle flexibility and performance, and decreased pain or symptoms.

What to expect:

Typically, each individual who experiences dry needling will describe the process differently, depending on what muscles or tissues are being treated.

Some common things you can expect to feel during dry needling are:

Dull, achy pain at or near the treatment site

Potential for sudden sharp, sometimes startling, pain (this is expected)

Muscle twitching where the needle is inserted

The twitch is what releases the trigger point in the muscle

After dry needling, you can expect:

Soreness in the associated area (like after a hard workout)

Improved range of motion of the associated area, however, it may feel temporarily tighter at times

Bruising (less common)

Dry needling is a safe and effective method of relieving pain and tension in muscles and can be used to assist with treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including athletic injuries or strains, neck pain, headaches, tendinitis, and low back pain, to name a few. When used appropriately, dry needling can be effective in helping to restore joint range of motion and facilitate better body mechanics, which can also prevent future injury and pain. If you are interested in dry needling or curious if it’s right for you, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an evaluation with one of our trained physical therapists.

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