Many people who have suffered from chronic pain have turned to dry needling in Austin, TX to give them some relief. You may be thinking: pain? Needles? Certainly, that’s counterintuitive! However, dry needling is a form of pain management that doctors and physical therapists have used for decades to decrease pain. If you are interested in seeing if dry needling is right for you, give Austin Physical Therapy a call to learn more about the process. If you have tried other solutions to pain management, dry needling may be exactly the solution you need.
Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?
If you saw two people side by side, one receiving an acupuncture treatment and the other getting a dry needling treatment, you may think they are getting the exact same thing. However, they are not quite the same and the techniques used in these treatments will be different. With acupuncture, the needles are inserted along a certain path in order to help regain the flow of your Qi. With dry needling, your therapist will place the needles at very specific points in your muscles to decrease tightness. As the needles inserted will not deliver any medication into your system, the needling process remains “dry.” Hence, the term “dry needling.”
What conditions benefit from dry needling?
Our Austin, TX dry needling practitioners use very, very thin needles to relieve muscle pain and improve range of motion. As the benefits of dry needling extend to patients who have suffered acute injury, as well as those with chronic conditions, there are a great many patients who are candidates for this particular therapy.
The practitioners at Austin Physical Therapy may recommend this therapy for patients who suffer from
- Back pain
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Neck pain
- Myofacial pain
- Spinal challenges
- Shoulder impingement
- Tennis elbow
- Chronic muscle pain due to autoimmune disorders or other conditions
- Joint issues
- Shin splints
- Pelvic pain
- Plantar fasciitis
As well as other issues that inhibit range of motion and/or lead to painfully tightened muscles, including trigger points (knotted muscle sore to the touch).
Do I need to prepare for my sessions in any way?
While there is no specific preparation for dry needling recommended for most patients, some of the patients at Austin Physical Therapy find that they can avoid clenching their muscles during their sessions if they take any pain medication that they have been prescribed (or an over the counter medication such as Tylenol) prior to their session, as opposed to after it. Avoiding muscle clenching will help you to benefit from your sessions to the fullest possible extent.
What if needles make me anxious?
Many of our Austin, TX dry needling patients are initially anxious about having needles inserted into their bodies. Know that if you are nervous, this is normal. Oftentimes, having a solid understanding of what you’re about to experience and why can be helpful in quelling anxiety.
Essentially, dry needling is performed so that micro tears can be made in the body in order to stimulate a healing response. Just as lifting weights cause micro tears that build muscle, dry needling causes blood to flow to the site of the injection and for micro swelling to occur. This process tells the body to “boost” the tissue in a healing effort. When performed properly, dry needling decreases inflammation once a very minor spike in inflammation occurs.
Understanding why the experienced Texas team at Austin Physical Therapy has recommended dry needling for your condition(s) specifically can demystify the process and mitigate any anxiety that you may have about undergoing this treatment. With that said, if you still have questions or concerns, please voice them. We are here to make your treatment plan work for you.
What else should I know?
Once you have completed an Austin, TX dry needling session, you’ll want to move your body freely. Consider gentle stretching and other movements designed to keep your blood flowing. If you experience any soreness, gentle massage and/or temperature therapy may help to alleviate your discomfort.
Will this hurt?
Understandably, many people who turn to dry needling in Austin, Texas wonder if this will hurt more than it will help. However, the procedure should not cause you pain. These needles are not the same as medical needles used for shots. They are extremely thin and not inserted too deep.
When will I notice the benefits?
It is not uncommon for patients to experiences soreness after their dry needling session. Many people notice improvements in their pain within the first day and, most often, will see more improvement with the more sessions they go to. If you do dry needling sessions often, you will likely experience less soreness after each session and see more improvements in your pain levels.
Is there a certain number of sessions I need for my pain?
The number of sessions will depend on the person but it is not uncommon for those who have experienced chronic pain for quite a long time to need more sessions than those who are experiencing acute pain. Your therapist will discuss what they believe is the right number of treatments and re-valuate as you move into your treatment program.
Would you like to learn more about how dry needling can help you? Reach out to Austin Physical Therapy to speak with our Austin, Texas dry needling therapist today!