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Dry Needling in Rockville, MD

Physical Therapist Performing Dry Needling in Silver Spring MD

Dry Needling in Rockville, MD

What is dry needling? 

Trigger point dry needling treats myofascial pain. What then is myofascial pain, you ask? “Myofascial” has two parts. “Myo” refers to muscles, and “fascia” refers to the tissues that connect your muscles.

Sometimes, everyone’s muscles get knotted up. When overused or strained, muscles develop knots that are irritable and painful. When you feel a muscle knot, you will often find it is quite painful to the touch. Maybe the knot goes away, but maybe it lingers. And try as you might, you can’t massage the knot out, even if you can reach it. 

Often, when rubbing on one of these knots, you will notice a pain somewhere else. The pain “refers” to another area, sometimes nearby, but sometimes in unexpected areas. Then these knots even cause muscle weakness and restrict your range of motion. Initially, these taut knots are created by your body as a normal protective measure if there is actual or potential damage to your muscles. However, if left alone and untreated, they can contribute significantly to chronic pain.

These areas are called trigger points. 

The aim of dry needling is to untie these muscle knots at their very core at your trigger points. This reduces the pain in the local area, but it also impacts referred areas too. When a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point receives dry needling treatment, it can decrease the tightness, increase the blood flow, and reduce both the local and referred pain. There are even “latent” knots that do not directly cause pain when you touch them but underlie chronic pain issues. 

Why is dry needling important? 

Dry needling seems to change how the brain and muscles communicate with each other, so your system can return to normal movement patterns.

More people every year in Rockville swear by dry needling’s ability to provide relief for even the most intense muscle pain and chronic mobility issues. Athletes, those with injuries, and people coping with chronic pain, discover this drug-free way to treat musculoskeletal pain.

Dry needling trigger point therapy has been around for decades. The focus is on muscle and connective tissue to restore mobility by triggering pain relief. Tiny, thin, solid needles go through the skin into a trigger point to untie the knot. The needle stimulates the tissue. There is no medication injected. That is why the needles are called “dry.”

To locate your trigger points, your physical therapist palpates (examines by touch) the area with their hands. Their specialized training in trigger points means they have studied a map of the human body with common places that trigger points emerge. This knowledge is helpful, but we know that every patient is different. That is the physical therapist’s skill set. They touch the area to locate the trigger point precisely, so they know exactly where to insert the needle. 

How can dry needling help with chronic pain? 

Dry needling treats the muscle tissues, with the goal to reduce pain, untie those muscle knots and restore function. Seldom used as a standalone procedure, dry needling is part of a plan that incorporates other physical therapy interventions. 

What kind of pain can dry needling treat?

As practitioners who consistently offer dry needling in Rockville, MD, to our patients, we use dry needling as part of an overall physical therapy plan. The entire plan usually includes some exercise, heat therapy, manual therapy, and patient education. 

Dry needling increases range of motion limited because of muscle tightness, pain, or scar tissue.

Our Rockville Dry Needling patients find dry needling also treats:

  • Disk problems
  • Joint problems
  • Tendinitis
  • Jaw and mouth problems (TMJ or TMD)
  • Shoulder pain 
  • Neck pain 
  • Migraine and tension-type headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal issues
  • Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Heel pain
  • Hip pain
  • Back pain
  • Phantom pain
  • Night cramps
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia (the pain after shingles)

The exact mechanism of dry needling is yet unknown. But what we do know is that inserting that tiny needle into a trigger point causes a favorable biochemical change, which reduces chronic pain.

Although research shows that dry needling is a safe, effective, drug-free approach to treat and manage pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse you for the procedure. 

For your next appointment for dry needling in Rockville, MD, CONTACT US.

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