Dry Needling Therapy – It actually worked for me!
My personal experience with Dry Needling
Why I Tried Dry Needling:
Living in Northern Idaho, most of us have had a fall or two on the ice. My most recent fall resulted in muscle spasms, pain, and popping sound in my Left shoulder. This pain made every day tasks such as getting my shirt on and off, reaching overhead, and finding a comfortable sleeping position difficult. I tried temporary solutions, like ice & ibuprofen. I knew they would not solve the problem, but I am busy with life, just like the rest of us. However, it was when it was painful to reach out and hug my child that I decided I could not put this pain off. It was then I took the plunge and tried Dry Needling.
What to Expect:
The procedure goes a little something like this: After I lie down on a massage table, my physical therapy doctor inserts a thin- filament needle directly into the muscle that is currently tight or spasming. I am not a big fan of needles & thus was a bit nervous about this new endeavor. I did not feel the needle in my skin and was surprised when he told me the needles were in. He inserted 6 needles into the muscles of my shoulder. I did not have any pain with the procedure, however did feel light headed, which resolved very quickly. The basic premise: By sticking needles into specific points in a muscle and triggering a spasm, dry needling therapy can provide relief in hard-to-release muscles. And it worked. After just two treatments, My shoulder was no longer making the popping sound & I could comfortably sleep though the night.
What Exactly is Dry Needling?
“Dry Needling is a very effective form of pain therapy that uses very thin needles inserted in your muscle tissue. Dry needling is used to treat pain and dysfunction caused by trigger point muscle problems, nerve problems, headaches, and chronic pain. Dry needling is NOT Traditional Chinese Acupuncture as it does not treat traditional Chinese energy lines. Dry needling is a modern, science-based intervention and requires a medical diagnosis to treat pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions. “ explains Garrett Fischer, DPT, Cert. DN., from Kauai Therapy & Wellness in Ponderay.
Dry needling is firmly rooted in Western medicine and is based on anatomy. “It requires a full orthopedic evaluation”, explains Dr. Fischer. Information from that evaluation is how insertion points are determined. People often wonder what the difference between acupuncture and dry needling is. Both acupuncture and dry needling use extremely thin needles, but “the similarity between acupuncture and dry needling begins and ends with the tool that is being used.
In addition to muscle spasms like mine, dry needling has been used to treat conditions including headaches, lower back pain, sciatic pain, neck pain, tendonitis, and much more. Dry needling, for me did not hurt. Naturally, the amount of pain involved in the procedure varies for different people and their trigger points.
Your physical therapist should be appropriately trained and certified in providing dry needling techniques, and will display the (Cert. DN.) credentials to indicate this level of training. Idaho recently joined more than 40 other states in allowing patients access to dry needling provided by Physical Therapists.