What is Dry Needling and How Can It Help Me?

Dry Needling

25 Feb What is Dry Needling and How Can It Help Me?

Dry needling is one of the biggest wellness trends of the past year and is predicted to continue to be popular through the new year.  So what is it and why is it growing in popularity?  Dry needling, also referred to as Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) is a method of relieving muscular pain through the insertion of needles at concentrated areas of pain and/or trigger points.  Dry needling has gained more recent popularity from the publicized success that injured runners, celebrities, and NFL sports heroes have had with it–all praising the therapy for its ability to provide pain relief, quicker recovery times and improvement in function and mobility. Dr. Hettick at the Mile High Spine & Pain Center in Broomfield is equipped to answer any questions you may have about how dry needling can benefit you and what you can expect.  

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling involves the insertion of a thin filament needle to stimulate the healing process of soft tissues (muscle “trigger points”, fascia, tendons and ligaments, etc) resulting in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology. The needle does not contain any injectable solution which is why it is termed “dry” needling. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.

The insertion of the needle into the muscle causes a twitch response in the muscle that stimulates biochemical and mechanical effects.  Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms, overall health of the patient, and experience level of the practitioner.  The chiropractic physicians at Mile High Spine & Pain Center are very experienced with dry needling and the various techniques needed to increase functionality and reduce pain.

Why Does Dry Needling Work?

The exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known. Based on the pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, we know that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. When a twitch response is achieved you break the pain cycle and give rehabilitation a boost.

The goal of dry needling is to amplify the nervous system response to a stimulus to set in motion the necessary reactions for healing. Neurochemicals, such as Endorphins and Corticosteroids, are released; the immune system brings white blood cells to the injured area, and red blood cells carrying oxygen and nutrients run to the site (inflammatory response). Dry needling relaxes contracted muscles. Much of the pain and dysfunction of a muscle is due to a muscle spasm that needs to stop.  Dry needling can eliminate the pain and dysfunction of the trigger point by inhibiting the spasm or causing it to stop entirely.  

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are irritable, hard “knots” within a muscle that create or “trigger” pain over a large area, making it difficult to perform normal tasks.  Another name for the condition of painful muscles and trigger points is myofascial pain syndrome.  Dry needling stimulates a trigger point releasing the tight muscle bands associated with trigger points and allows your body to experience decreased pain and better function.

What Does Dry Needling Treat?

Dry needling is an effective treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal problems (Acute/Chronic injuries, Headaches, Neck/Back pain, Tendinitis, Muscle Spasms, “Sciatica”, Hip/Knee pain, Muscle strains, Fibromyalgia, “Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow”, PFPS,Overuse injuries, etc.), acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. The treatment of muscles has the greatest effect on reducing pain mechanisms in the nervous system.

Free Dry Needling Consultation

If you are suffering from muscle or joint pain, the team at the Mile High Spine & Pain Center can develop a treatment plan for you.  They will be able to determine if dry needle therapy is right for you.  The Mile High Spine & Pain Center works with patients in the Broomfield and Westminster areas, and accepts most insurance plans.   Call today at (720) 507-0080 to schedule your free consultation.


Mile High Spine & Pain Center