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Dry needling (DN) is a technique in Physical Therapy practice with increasing popularity and a growing body of high-quality evidence to support its use. In DN a thin, solid filament, “dry” needle– one without medication or injection, is used to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
DN may be incorporated in a physical therapy treatment plan when persistent pain, trigger points, or connective tissue dysfunction contribute to movement impairments and functional limitations. There is a growing body of evidence in the pain research literature to support the use of DN to treat a wide variety of conditions including: tendonitis, low back pain, tension-type headaches, neck pain, whiplash associated disorders, shoulder impingements, tennis elbow, carpal-tunnel syndrome, computer-related disorders, sciatica, radiculopathies, hip/knee arthritis, and plantar fasciitis.
The Physical Therapist will provide you with a thorough explanation of what to expect during and after the procedure, as well as time to discuss any questions you may have. Patients will be positioned comfortably for the procedure, which typically lasts 10-20 minutes. Needles will be inserted by the PT and manually stimulated during the procedure to enhance the body’s response and effectiveness. Mild soreness in the area is normal after the procedure, with a decrease in pain level expected by the following day