According to researchers, it is believed that the most common type of musculoskeletal pain is derived from myofascial pain. A very common example myofascial pain is in the form of trigger points, which are defined as “hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band”. A trigger point is also known as a “knot” in the muscles. There are several mechanisms that can cause a person to develop knots in their muscles. These changes in the muscle are due to injury, weather by trauma or with overuse activities (eg. exercising incorrectly).
Physical therapists are well-trained in assessing and treating those dealing with trigger points. A relatively new technique used by physical therapists in treating trigger points is called trigger point dry needling. The process of performing dry needling involves inserting an acupuncture needle into the skin and underlying muscle and the remainder of the process is dependent on the specific technique being used.
The success of a physical therapist performing deep muscle dry needling depends largely on their ability to palpate and identify the knots in the muscle. There is minimal risk to being treated by dry needling, largely trauma or bruising on the skin. There may also be mild bleeding following treatment that stops immediately with light pressure for a few seconds. The greatest side effects are general soreness at the muscle being treated with subsides the following day.
There have been numerous studies performed showing the effectiveness of dry needling. More research is being conducted to look at long term effects of treatment and trying to determine optimal time for treatment and rest.
DOES IT HURT?
The answer is… it depends. It will definitely cause some soreness in the muscles afterwards. The soreness will continue for a few hours and maybe up to one day.
CAN I RECEIVE THE TREATMENT BACK TO BACK?
Once again, the answer is largely dependent on the person. We usually want 12 hours of rest in-between sessions. If your schedule is tight and you enjoy the result from dry needling, then you are welcome to try it.
CAN I EXERCISE AFTER TREATMENT?
This answer is a little more precise… NO! We would like 12 hours between treatments to ensure the maximum effect has been reached. In addition, the muscles are receiving minor trauma and will rebuild stronger if rest is achieved.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THIS TYPE OF TREATMENT?
Yes! It is billed as “manual therapy” and your insurance will cover. However, you are responsible for co-payments and deductible.
HOW DO I RECEIVE THIS TREATMENT?
By calling our office at 702-564-6712 and asking to be scheduled for “dry needling!” It is that simple!