6 Ways Dry Needling Can Help Relieve Body Pain in a Few Days
Quick and effective relief for chronic body pain with dry needling therapy
Pain negatively impacts our lives and prevents us from working, enjoying hobbies or experiencing vibrant social lives. Fortunately, dry needling may help reduce our body aches.
Read on to learn about dry needling, how it works, and how it can help relieve body pain. We’ll also answer a few frequently asked questions.
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a modern acupuncture technique adopted by many acupuncturists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other qualified practitioners. It was first described in 1941 by American physicians, Brav and Sigmund. Neurologist Karel Lewit of the Prague School of Rehabilitation later popularized Dry Needling.
Dry needling involves inserting unmedicated needles to your body’s trigger points, including the source of your hip pain. Our muscle fibres may usually react with a sudden twitch response. Fortunately, this response is natural and typically relatively painless.
So what are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are lesions that can form inside tight bands of muscle. Typically, they shouldn’t be there. Injury, overtraining, infections and psychological stress – among other things – can cause them to form. They’re different from other muscle knots. They’re little inflammation factories.
Now for the weird part. Trigger points can cause symptoms in your body far away from the real problem. The best-known trigger point symptom is referred pain. This means that you feel it is far away from the source. For instance, if you have hip pain, it could come from muscles in your lower leg or back.
Even more often – and more importantly – trigger points can cause weakness and poor coordination in muscles far away from the real problem.
Now some good news!
Dry Needling Can Help Relieve Body Pain!
Aids in Reducing Body Aches
Nobody deserves to live with constant body aches because they can negatively affect our lives. Fortunately, dry needling can help reduce myofascial, neck, shoulder, lower back, knee, and hip pains, headaches, TMJ and more.
When your therapist needles a trigger point, there is a rapid decrease in the production of inflammatory chemicals like CGRP and Substance P. For some patients, this leads to an immediate decrease in pain. Others – especially patients with chronic pain – may notice a decrease in pain over the next several days.
Reduces Muscle Tension
Dry needling also helps relieve muscle tension. Decreasing CGRP release allows your muscle to relax. What’s more, it can sometimes relax muscles far away from where the trigger point was. Remember how we saw that trigger points produced “referred symptoms”? In some cases, this includes making distant muscles tighten up. An excellent example of this is tennis elbow.
Research has shown that trigger points in the shoulder’s rotator cuff muscles can cause the muscles in your forearm to keep tightening up no matter how many times you stretch them. Here, dry needling the rotator cuff muscles can help the muscles that attach to your elbow relax and stay that way.
Improve Coordination Throughout the Body
Poor muscular coordination is a hallmark of trigger points. For instance, the muscle that contains a trigger point often activates early but clumsily, fatigues and weakens quickly, and then doesn’t recover well with rest.
As we continue to see, trigger points can have wide-ranging effects. For instance, trigger points can tighten and “shut off” other muscles. An excellent example of this involves the hip. Trigger points in the latissimus dorsi (a shoulder/back muscle) or the adductor muscles of the thigh can cause the gluteal muscle to weaken. When this happens, other small hip muscles – like the piriformis and obturators – tighten up to compensate. This changes how your joint moves and can lead to hip or back pain over time.
Once again, dry needling can help. Through a physical exam, your therapist can determine the weak links in the chain and which trigger points to the needle to restore standard muscle activation patterns.
Reduce Chronic Pain
Chronic pain has far-reaching effects. While it may seem that you should get used to it, a closer look tells a different story. Long-lasting noxious (painful) input changes how your spinal cord and brain process the signal. This is called central sensitization.
Think of it like this. There are gaits in your spinal cord that control how much of the painful signal makes it to your brain. It’s sort of like having a volume knob. Over time, that knob gets turned up.
Depending on the cause of your pain, dry needling may help reduce the incoming barrage of signals that have sensitized – turned up the volume – in your spinal cord. Over time, this can help your body go back to normal and reduce pain.
Aids in Easing Tendonitis
Tendonitis is an irritation and inflammation of the tough cords that attach muscles to your bones. It often results from tension, overuse or misuse of the muscles that attach to them. Tendonitis may lead to mild swelling and make your joint stiff and painful to move.
Fortunately, qualified practitioners can use dry needling to help speed your recovery by relaxing tight muscles and addressing muscle imbalances or other uncoordinated movement patterns that contribute to tendon irritation.
Relieves Headaches and Migraines
Besides helping to reduce your hip pain and improve blood and oxygen circulation, dry needling can also help relieve nasty headaches and migraines.
Your practitioner will insert the needles into the muscle and tissue trigger points to help ease the pressure caused by headaches.
Will It Hurt?
It is normal to feel your muscles twitch during a dry needling treatment. You may also feel a sensation of deep pressure, similar to a really deep massage. You may experience slight muscle pains or soreness for one or two days after the session. This is similar to the feeling you may get after a particularly vigorous workout.
How Long Will It Take To Recover?
Your recovery time depends on your situation. Many patients experience improved strength and mobility right away. You may feel a reduction of pain in one or two days or it may take a few treatments to produce significant reductions in pain
How Long Will the Effects Last?
There’s no exact number because the lasting benefits depend on your situation. Your age, hip pain severity level, chronicity, dry needling frequency, stress level, sleep quality and diet all play a role.
Pointing Towards Healing
Whether you want to relieve your hip pain or restart your athletic career, dry-needling treatments can help you reach your goals and experience the healthiest version of you.
Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture offers high-quality dry-needling in Syracuse for your hip pain. Book an appointment today and enjoy a better life!