Integrative dry needling therapy is a treatment for musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions, including:
- Neck, back and shoulder pain
- Arm pain – tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Buttock and leg pain – sciatica, hamstring strains, calf tightness and spasms
This specialized treatment involves the use of fine monofilament needles to create small lesions that cause an inflammatory reaction in the soft tissue which stimulates the body’s natural healing process. As the body heals, pain is reduced. Dry needling is used in conjunction with other physical therapies interventions like exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound or manual therapy.
Certified physical therapists can needle the trigger points, local areas of pain or the peripheral nerve distribution from which those trigger points arise. They can also focus on the spinal segments that correspond to that level of involvement.
Dry needling is not a painful procedure. Many patients report they don’t feel the needles penetrate the skin at all. Occasionally, there may be some mild achiness or bruising at the site. The monofilaments do not have a cutting edge, so it is unlikely for any significant trauma to the tissue.
This type of therapy’s effectiveness varies from patient to patient, as does the length of treatment time needed. It is typically very helpful in patients with a localized area of pain.
Most insurance plans cover integrative dry needling if prescribed by a physician as part of rehabilitation.