Dr. Antonio Gurule DC, CSCS
If you follow any sort of fitness or health in the news and social media today, you most likely have come across the term dry needling. For many just hearing the word NEEDLE makes them start to sweat! Before you get all paranoid and start making a run for the door lets dive a little deeper into what dry needling is so that you can have an appreciation of why we have chosen to add it to one of our various treatment modalities to decrease pain and improve function.
Brief history on dry needling
Trigger points have always been a widely discussed topic of the human body, and have been studied and recorded since Guillaume de Baillous of France (1538-1616). Guillaume was one of the first to write in detail about muscle pain and disorders. In 1816, British physician Balfour wrote about “thickenings” and “nodular tumors” in muscles that had local pain as well as regional pain.
In the early 1900’s, Sir William Gowers first introduced the term “fibrositis”, describing a palpable tenderness and hardness of the muscle. As the years went on many more began to dive deeper into the study of trigger points, the effects they have, how they develop, and how to treat them. In 1979, Karl Lewit, MD, DSc. published an article called “The Needle Effect”. Within this article he recognized that needles could indeed be applied as an extension of the treatment of orthopedic dysfunctions. As research continued to progressed many began injecting the muscle with saline observing where areas of pain would be present, introducing the idea of referred pain associated with trigger points, in addition to also being used for treatments of conditions. The needles used in this setting were hallowed core hypodermic needles, and referred to as “wet needling”. It was then proposed that perhaps much of the effects that are occurring are a result of simply being injected or pistoning the needle without any fluid actually being injected, coined “dry needling”. As this theory began to expand, the hallow core hypodermic needles were replaced with solid filiform needles.
Comparing and contrasting these two definitions we can see some strong similarities between acupuncture and dry needling. We can think of dry needling as a more specific intervention to specific muscles that have been evaluated and palpated with the discovery of trigger points with in the muscle belly and less about the acupuncture type approach of the energetic properties that might be associated with this particular injury.
How it works:
The intramuscular mechanical stimulation of the muscle produces a local twitch or rapid depolarization of the dysfunctional muscle fiber. The will help reduce the muscle activity dramatically resulting in relaxation and decreased pain. Different theories attest to the actual physiological changes that occur on the cellular level when performing dry needling. Although there are still some discrepancies as to what is actually going on, we can see immediate positive changes after dry needling.
Dry needling as a treatment modality works best in conjunction with a comprehensive rehab program. It is another very specific tool to help reduce pain and help patients accelerate through their rehab program.
Does it hurt?
When being treated with dry needles there may be instances of discomfort as the needle penetrates the muscular belly and specifically the areas of dysfunction or tenderness due to the trigger points.
How many times do I need to be treated?
The amount of sessions that are recommend to treat a particular area of the body will vary on a case by case basis, but typically within 4-5 visits the patient will be experiencing a great deal of improvement.
Is trigger point dry needling safe?
We go to great lengths to ensure safety. The clinicians at Enhanced Movements have all passed their board exams and have an exhaustive understanding of anatomy. We apply OSHA standards, use personal protective high quality equipment, and proudly hold the highest standard of safety for our patients and our clinicians.
How much does dry needling cost?
There is no additional cost to perform dry needling during your standard appointment. There may be instances where a longer appointment will be booked based on the complexity of the case to ensure adequate time.
Can I come in just for dry needling?
After a comprehensive exam and initial treatment has been completed and your clinicians recommends dry needling as part of your therapy program you can schedule appointment strictly for dry needling. Dry needling is done in conjunction with your therapy program and your clinician may allow an appointment strictly for dry needling as long as there is a home care program that is already being performed.
-Health Through Movement-
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Hours Of Operation
Saturday: Appointment Only
Enhanced Movements Chiropractic
1255 Cimarron Drive #201
Lafayette CO, 80026