Dry needling (DN) is mostly used for subacute and chronic phases of an injury.
Dry needling is used to treat many different anatomic structures and a variety of conditions. It is used to stimulate neural, muscular and connective tissue such as tendons, msucle and scar tissue. Some conditions commonly treated by DN is piriformis syndrome, knee osteoarthritis and plantar fasciitis (1)
Dry needling has biomechanical, vascular and endocrinological effects. The literature states that short term pain, nerve conduction velocity, local oxygen, collage proliferation, muscular strength all improve with dry needling (1,2)
There are 4 main reasons to use dry needling: to relieve pain, increase ROM and flexibility, decrease oedema, and increase strength and power. Pain being the biggest driver to people to seek help, most people use dry needling to help with their pain levels. In a research study article, subjects with acute neck pain were treated with trigger point dry needling (4). At 10 minutes and 1 week after dry needling, the subjects had decreased pain intensity and an increased pressure pain threshold (4).
A similar case report looked at treating acute neck pain in a 64 year old female (5). The subject’s pain and functional improvement was seen after the initial treatment, which lasted until the next treatment 1 month later. If lasting effects were seen from a session of dry needling, it may be worth suggesting the use of DN for athletes prior to a game or even in their subacute phase of their injury in the week leading up to their game. More research is always welcome and a trial of DN may help manage some of your issues.
If you are experiencing pain, and need help, maybe DN is what you need. But if you are afraid of needles, we here at Sprouting Health have other ways to helping you.
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