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Dry Needling

Dry Needling

Physical Therapy

Dry Needling

If you are seeking relief from chronic pain, you might have come across the term “dry needling.” But what exactly is dry needling, and how does it work? This guide will explore everything you need to know about this increasingly popular treatment.

Dry needling is a therapeutic technique performed by trained healthcare professionals, such as our SMC Physicians physical therapists, to treat muscle pain and dysfunction. It involves inserting thin, solid needles into specific muscle trigger points. These trigger points, also known as myofascial trigger points, are tight knots of muscle fibers that can cause pain and affect muscle function. Dry needling aims to release muscle tension and promote healing by targeting these trigger points.

The term “dry” in dry needling refers to the absence of any solution or medication being injected into the body. Unlike acupuncture, which has roots in traditional Chinese medicine, dry needling is based on Western medicine principles and focuses on the musculoskeletal system. While acupuncture focuses on restoring energy flow through the body, dry needling primarily targets muscular issues.

The process of dry needling begins with a thorough assessment by a qualified physical therapist. The therapist identifies the trigger points or areas of muscle tightness that may be causing pain or limiting movement. Once these areas are identified, the therapist carefully inserts thin needles into the muscles. The needles are typically inserted and removed quickly, causing minimal discomfort to the patient. The therapist may manipulate the needles slightly to stimulate the muscles and promote relaxation.

Conditions that Can Be Treated with Dry Needling

Dry needling can be an effective treatment option for various conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Here are some of the commonly treated conditions:

1. Muscle Pain and Tension: Dry needling can relieve muscle pain, tension, and tightness. It can benefit individuals with myofascial pain syndrome, muscle strains, or muscle spasms.

2. Sports Injuries: Dry needling can aid in the recovery of sports injuries, such as muscle strains, ligament sprains, or tendinitis. It can help reduce pain, improve muscle function, and promote faster healing.

3. Headaches and Migraines: Dry needling can effectively alleviate tension headaches and migraines. Targeting trigger points in the neck, shoulders, and head can help reduce pain intensity and frequency.

4. Joint Pain and Dysfunction: Dry needling can complement the treatment of joint pain and dysfunction, such as osteoarthritis or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). It can help relieve muscle tension around the affected joint and improve mobility.

It is important to note that dry needling should only be performed by a qualified healthcare professional, such as our qualified SMC physical therapists, with specialized training in this technique. Patients should also communicate any discomfort or concerns they may have during the procedure to ensure their safety and comfort.

Dry needling is often part of a comprehensive physical therapy plan to treat muscle pain and dysfunction. It can be an effective option for patients seeking relief from muscle-related issues.

To schedule an appointment with our Physical Therapy team for dry needling, please contact SMC Physicians today for your visit.

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Our Physical Therapists

Our Physical Therapy Locations:

North Cape May

3860 Bayshore Rd, North Cape May, NJ 08204

Monday: 8:00am-4pm
Tuesday: 8:00am-4pm
Wednesday: 8:00am-4pm
Thursday: 8:00am-4pm