During a dry needling treatment, your physical therapist will place a tiny needle into the muscle. It might feel like a pinprick when the needle is inserted. It might also cause what’s called a local twitch response, which is a quick spasm of the muscle. The twitch can help relieve pain and it’s a good sign that your muscles are responding to the procedure.
Your therapist will then move the needle around in the muscle to try to get this response. It can take several sessions to get rid of all of the trigger points, but you should notice a difference in your pain after one session.
Dry needling targets the tight, knotted muscles called trigger points. They can be triggered by an injury, degenerative process, or a chronically painful condition. These knots compress nerves and prevent them from sending proper signals to the body, causing pain and dysfunction. Inserting a dry needle into these trigger points releases the knots and improves the muscle’s function.
At Prolete Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we specialize in dry needling to improve our patients’ pain management and speed their return to full health. Getting the most out of your treatment requires a team approach, so our therapists work with you to identify and treat all causes of your pain.
There are a few risks associated with dry needling, though they are rare. One risk is that the needle can poke through the skin and hit a nerve or blood vessel. Another is that the needle could puncture your lung, a condition called pneumothorax.