The Magic of Dry Needling for Muscle Soreness

Dry needling is a specialized and effective technique in musculoskeletal therapy. It is a minimally invasive procedure performed to address a range of musculoskeletal issues, including muscle pain, tension, and dysfunction. This therapeutic approach involves the precise insertion of thin needles into specific trigger points or tight muscles, promoting relaxation, improved blood flow, and enhanced tissue mobility.

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Dry Needling

Dry needling is a technique used to treat musculoskeletal pain and movement issues.

It is almost always used as part of a larger pain management plan that could include exercise, stretching, massage and other techniques.

During this treatment, thin, sharp needles are inserted through your skin to treat underlying myofascial trigger points. When dry needling is applied to your muscles and tissues, it can decrease tightness, increase blood flow and reduce local and referred pain.

Providers use solid needles that do not contain any kind of medication. This is why the technique is called “dry.” Nothing is injected into your body.

Treatment for Pain and Soreness

Dry needling is primarily used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.

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Joint Issues

Joint pain can be felt in the joints throughout your body. Dry needling can help relieve this type of pain.

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Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a condition where the connective tissues between your muscles and bones inflame. Often caused by repetitive activities, tendonitis can be painful.

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Migraines and Tension-Type Headaches

A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Tension headaches are the most common headache type that involves a feeling of pressure on your forehead and temples. Dry needling can help relieve both of these types of headaches.

Benefits of Dry Needling

Dry needling may help relieve pain and increase your range of motion.

Muscle Relaxation

The needles can help relax tight muscles, improving flexibility and range of motion.

Improved Blood Flow

Dry needling may promote better blood circulation in the treated areas, aiding in the healing process.

Reduced Muscle Tension

The insertion of needles can lead to the deactivation of trigger points and a reduction in muscle spasms.
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How Dry Needling Works

Reasons to Get Dry Needling

Dry needling may be recommended for various musculoskeletal conditions and concerns.

Muscle Pain and Tension

Dry needling is often used to address muscle pain, tightness, and spasms. It can help release tension in specific muscles and promote relaxation.

Myofascial Trigger Points

Myofascial trigger points are hyperirritable spots in muscles associated with palpable nodules or tight bands. Dry needling is used to target and deactivate these trigger points, potentially reducing pain and improving muscle function.

Chronic Pain Conditions

Individuals with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia or chronic low back pain, may consider dry needling as part of a comprehensive pain management strategy.

FAQ

Does dry needling hurt?

Trigger points are usually painful to the touch. Prior to the needling, it is possible to experience some pain while your healthcare provider is locating the trigger point.

You may also feel discomfort during the needling. Sometimes, people do not feel the needle going in because it is so small, but in certain cases, people will feel a prick. When the needle is in the trigger point, it can be painful and cause a twitch response. Afterward, you may feel tightness or soreness near the insertion site, but it is important to keep moving and stretching.

Who should not get dry needling?

This procedure is not recommended for children under the age of 12 because it can be painful. Other groups who should consult with their physician before receiving dry needling include people who:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have compromised immune systems
  • Have just had surgery
  • Are on blood thinners
How should I prepare for dry needling?

Before any dry needling treatment, your healthcare provider will go over your medical history and perform a physical exam. They need to determine if dry needling is right for you. If they think you are a candidate, they will explain how the treatment works and answer any questions you may have.

On the day of your treatment, you should dress comfortably in loose clothing. Wear something that allows your healthcare provider to easily access the treatment area. Otherwise, your provider will give you a gown or covering.

What should I do after a dry needling procedure?
After your treatment, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You may experience increased muscle soreness after the treatment, but it is important to keep moving. This is normal and may last for 24 to 36 hours. You could see some bruising near the treated area. This bruising may last for up to a week.
Are there any side effects or complications of dry needling?

The most common side effect of dry needling is soreness during and after treatment.

Other side effects are typically minor. They may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Bruising at or near the insertion site
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue