What is Dry Needling?
Functional Dry Needling is a skilled intervention performed by your doctor that uses a thin filament needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of neuromuscular pain and movement impairments. (APTA, 2012)
Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture? The simple answer is no. Dry Needling uses a western medicine approach to evaluate and treat problems with muscles, joints, bones and connective tissues. Evaluation is performed by palpation, range of motion analysis and functional tests to determine areas of treatment. Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine principles using meridians, or acupuncture electrical channels, to restore normal function. It is particularly helpful for nerve related conditions.
How does Dry Needling work? Dry needling is done by inserting a small monofilamint needle into what is called a "Trigger Point". A trigger point is a hyper-irritable spot where muscle bunches up to form a taut band or nodule, this is commonly known as muscle "knots". The needle causes what is called a "twitch response" which allows the muscle to relax. This helps to reduce or eliminate pain, muscle tightness and referred pain.
What is referred pain? Referred pain is pain that travels to other parts of the body from a trigger point. For instance, trigger points in the neck or shoulders can cause headaches and trigger points in the glutes can cause leg pain. There are two different types of trigger points called "active" and "latent". Active trigger points cause referred pain and latent trigger points don't cause referred pain. However, latent trigger points can become active trigger points at any time.
How long does it take? This varies from patient to patient and the type condition. Acute injuries typically take less time (2-4 sessions) while it not uncommon for chronic conditions to take more time (8-10 sessions). However, the amount of time is not set in stone and may vary. Expect your average appointment time to be about 20-30 minutes for follow ups and 45 minutes to 1 hour for new patients. Depending on the condition, your doctor may recommend more or less frequency of treatments, averaging 1-2 treatments per week.
How much does it cost? We do not file dry needling to insurance. If you are a new patient to our office we must first perform an exam in order to do treatment. Our exam and first treatment costs $99. If you are an existing chiropractic patient or following up for dry needling it costs $25 per region. For example, dry needling the neck and shoulders would cost $50. Typically when dry needling it will be done on 1-4 regions depending on what needs to be treated.