Some of you who are reading this have either worked with myself or another therapist who practices Trigger Point Dry Needling. Some of you still do not even know what it is or what it does, but you are well aware of the benefits, am I right?
So, what is it? Is it like acupuncture? That is the number one question I get aside from, “…does it hurt?” Both answers are, “Well, no, not really.”
Trigger Point Dry Needling is NOT acupuncture. Acupuncture is a completely different treatment that you will have to ask an acupuncturist about.
Dry Needling It is a technique that uses an acupuncture needle to enter a muscle and directly release a trigger point.
Now, what is a trigger point? A trigger point is a series of muscle fibers which are contracted in a unnatural way. This trigger point is a knot that can create problems within a muscle during an activity, it can cause pain, a potentially lead to injury.
Trigger Point Dry Needling is not comfortable, however is not truly painful. The best way I can describe the feeling is just plain weird. Most of the time, you barely feel the needle until a trigger point is released. At that point, what you feel is a brief sensation that has been described as a “zap” or “shock-like”, and you actually feel the involuntary twitch of the muscle releasing.
So how does it compare to massage?
By no means do I wish to deter anyone from going for their deep tissue massage, as there is a time and a place for it, however, there are some benefits to Dry Needling.
The treatments are quick and efficient. A 30 minute session can address 1-2 areas of the body.
It can provide lasting relief. The number of sessions required depend on how long the issue has been going on. However, most painful areas can be treated within 4-6 sessions, as cumulative treatments are the most effective way to truly eliminate pain. In some cases, regular treatments are recommended. Maintenance care is usually the recommendation for athletes who perform high-demand sports or activities, (i.e. Spartan Races, CrossFit, Orange Theory, Distance Running, etc).
How do you know if it is for you?
- If you are a person who sits at a desk all day, hunched over a computer with poor posture, chronic neck aches, head aches, or tight shoulders, Dry Needling may be for you.
- If you are a runner who complains of tight calves, cranky knees, constant knots in your glutes, Dry Needling may be for you.
- If you are a CrossFitter who has started to have a cranky shoulder or a stiff lower back but does NOT want to stop CrossFit because CrossFit is life, Dry Needling may be for you.
- If you have become a couch potato because some injury has sidelined you from your favorite fitness routine, Dry Needling may be for you.
Last but not least, what happens if you are afraid of needles? First off, I have successfully treated MANY people whom have a needle fear.. and they come back. It does NOT feel like getting a shot or getting blood drawn, you DO NOT have to look at the needle, and if you start with a treatment and decide you don’t want to continue the session, we stop, that’s it.
If you are still unsure, contact me. I am available by call or text at 617-249-4011, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complimentary consults are available to all who inquire.
I treat people of all ages, shapes, sizes and ability levels. I treat all areas of the body including the neck, shoulder, back, elbow, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot. I have experience treating in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and outpatient centers caring for the terminally ill to the high level collegiate athletes. You name it, I have treated it. So, if you are someone or know someone who may benefit from a consult, reach out and choose PT first over medication, diagnostic imaging, or expensive treatments and procedures.