Dry Needling in Physical Therapy

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Dry Needling in Physical Therapy

Though its name might be off-putting, dry needling is a simple procedure that is quickly becoming a central and effective part of treatment at Mountain View Pain Center. It enables our doctors to not only defuse pain, but also help heal various neuromuscular skeletal conditions. It is one of the single-most effective ways to improve clinical outcomes in both its speed and duration.

While techniques like “wet needling” will inject substances such as saline solution, Botox, or corticosteroids, dry needling involves no fluids or injections. It is ever evolving and, as a result, there are different types. At Mountain View Pain Center, we put our main focus on Functional Dry Needling (FDN) and Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN).

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How Dry Needling Works

Dry needling is an invasive procedure where a filiform needle is inserted about 5-10 mm into the skin and muscle directly at the myofasical trigger point, commonly referred to as a knot. This elicits an involuntary spinal cord reflex where muscle fibers contract, or, simply, a local twitch response. This will indicate exactly where the needle needs to be placed.

By introducing a new stimulus (i.e. the needle), the reflex arc slows down and the muscle relaxes. When a muscle has spasms, it becomes damaged and reduces blood flow, causing less oxygen and nutrients to be supplied to the muscle, which causes muscle fibers to die off and form scar tissue. By performing this as either maintenance or preventative treatment, we can prevent injuries from occurring or getting worse.

Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

While it seems like dry needling would be similar acupuncture, there are many differences in diagnosing guidelines, the application itself, and the overall intended goal. Acupuncture is a treatment based on Eastern medical diagnosis with the overall goal being to restore normal flow of the life force, using a complete system of healing with theories that focus on the use of specific points, meridians, and the concept of qi (also known as chi). Dry needling, however, is firmly rooted in Western medical philosophy and concepts, such as anatomy, physiology, neurology and biomechanics. Its application more specifically targets the myofascial trigger points in order to alleviate muscle spasms and pain, as well as restoring function. You could say the main difference is a matter of cultural interpretations of medicine.

How Dry Needling Can Help You

Dry needling is effective in not only taking the pain away, but also restoring function of the body. When the body is moving and functioning properly, you should have no or very little pain. By alleviating overall body aches and pains, we can prevent a misfiring neuromuscular system and help specific systems towards functioning properly. An inefficient muscle will not function correctly which, as a result, causes pain. When dry needling is performed, the needle is used to diminish the dysfunction. The muscle itself is restored to its optimal length by decreasing banding or alleviating undue strain on adjacent pain generating structures. Dry needling serves to restore and reset the system to allow for optimal movement.

Because dry needling is still a foreign concept to some, many of our patients are curious as to what type of pain, problems, and/or conditions it alleviates. Some common conditions we treat include:

  • Sciatic pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow
  • Headaches
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Glute pain
  • Hamstring (and other repetitive) strains
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Shin splints
  • Hip/Knee pain

Dry needling is a highly effective treatment that even the most needle-adverse should try. After treatment, most of our patients feel so much relief from their pain that the needle isn’t a problem anymore. We are very aware that needles can be a common phobia, but since the success rate is so high with this as a treatment, anyone with pain should be open to trying dry needling at least once.

The treatment has various benefits in pain reduction, including reducing pain while also reducing the intake of pain-relieving medication, as well as bringing down swelling as whole. Our doctors at Mountain View Pain Center stand by this treatment to reduce your pain and keep it to a minimum.


Pain Management

We are double board-certified in pain management and specialize in spinal and neuromuscular pain conditions. Beyond providing safe and appropriate medication management options,We are highly-skilled experts in non-surgical interventions, using state-of-the art treatments to relieve pain and improve function.



Chiropractic Care

At Mountain View Pain Center,  it is our mission to deliver the very best chiropractic care to all of our patients. Our Chiropractors deliver first class care incorporating the latest developments in treatment standards to make sure you get out of pain and stay out of pain. Contact any of our eight treatment offices to get started today!




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Mountain View Pain Center accepts almost every insurance plan and if you have been in a car accident we accept all auto insurance providers as well. If you do not see your insurance plan in the list of major plans we work with.please contact our office to verify that we accept your plan provider.

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