Dry needling is a tool used in conjunction with your chiropractic care plan. Dry needling can be used to assist with alleviating radicular pain, joint pain, odd sensations, and migraines.
Dry needling is usually needed no more than twice a week, or up to eight visits per month. Once a patient finds relief and the underlying cause is dealt with, dry needling can be used on an as-needed basis.
Dr. Walters is the only chiropractor in the Wiregrass area who is certified by the Integrative Dry Needling Institute.
How does dry needling work?
Integrative dry needling is not acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine), it is based on neuro-anatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues that are considered trigger points to your pain. Dry needling works by causing a micro lesion within the pathological tissue thus breaking up shortened tissues, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. This mechanical and neuromuscular effect provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal which ultimately reduces pain.
What conditions can be treated?
Conditions include, but are not limited to neck, back and shoulder pain, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer’s elbow), headache to include migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain and leg pain (sciatica, hamstrings strains, calf tightness/spasms).
Are the needles sterile?
Yes, we only use sterile disposable needles.
Is the procedure painful?
Many patients report that the process is virtually painless. You may feel a twitch or small sensation, which is normal.
The fine filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible, which allows for the needle to be pushed through the skin versus cutting the skin. This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure. We strive to make the treatment virtually painless, however at times a local twitch response of the muscle may be felt. When the needle is inserted into the pathological tissue the local twitch response sensation is normal and is felt only momentarily. Many patients describe this twitch response as a little electric shock, cramp or an ache sensation. These sensations are perfectly normal and even a desirable response. Dr. Walters will make every effort to make your experience comfortable and therapeutic.
How will I feel after the dry needling treatment?
This will vary but many patients experience immediate relief of their symptoms and an increase in range of motion. Soreness can also be a common response from the needling but does not occur with all people. Some individuals may experience an immediate achiness or a delayed soreness the next day. The soreness, if present, will usually last 1-2 days, use of heat and light massage and movement will be beneficial. Mild bruising may occur at the needling sites and is more prevalent in certain parts of the body. Larger bruising may also occur, but is rare. Application of ice on the bruise will help with the soreness and the skin discoloration will last several days but is not harmful.
It is uncommon but possible that the treatment may temporarily increase your symptoms. This does not mean that needling will not be beneficial to your condition. If it continues past the 1-2 day window, please let Dr. Walters know so that he can adjust your program to enhance your comfort the next time.