Dry needling is a technique that physical therapists use for the treatment of pain, restrictions in muscles including trigger points, and deficits in movement.
Dry needling is a technique that physical therapists use for the treatment of pain, restrictions in muscles including trigger points, and deficits in movement. The technique utilizes a dry needle (meaning one without medication) inserted through the skin into areas of muscle. Most commonly dry needling is used to treat trigger points, which are knots or tight bands of muscle within a larger muscle group. These trigger points can be tender to touch and/or cause pain with movement.
Dry needling allows the therapist to target tissues that are otherwise not as manually accessible from the surface of the skin, therefore allowing us to treat deeper areas. For patient and therapist safety, OSHA and infection prevention standards are followed. Typically, dry needling is a technique utilized in addition to stretching, manual therapy, strengthening/stabilization exercises or other physical therapy procedures to reach the patient’s goals. Physical therapists are required to have specific postgraduate education and training in order to legally perform this technique.
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