Integrative Dry Needling
Relax the Muscles. Reduce Inflammation. Feel Better
What is Integrative Dry Needling?
Integrative Dry Needling is a manual therapy technique using a single use, solid, monofilament needle that is inserted into the skin and underlying muscle with the purpose of reducing muscle tightness, improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and ultimately to reduce pain.
In the areas where you have pain you will often find:
- Muscle Guarding
- Increased electrical activity
- Decreased Blood Flow
- Adhesions of soft tissue
Integrative Dry Needling will have effects at the spot where its inserted, in the nerve that is causing your pain, and on inflammation throughout your body. We say the effect is local, segmental and systemic.
How Quick it Works is different for everyone but I typically say it is a two step process. For most people there is an immediate relaxation of the muscles and tightness. This is due to the effect on the nervous system (see more below). We can often “normalize” the signal of the nerve causing an immediate relaxation effect which most of the time relates to an immediate change in how you feel. Step 2 is a blood flow/immune system response due to the insertion of the needle. This triggers a blood flow response to the area to help heal the damaged or inflamed tissue in he area. The science behind this is fascinating and we are learning more and more every day about how the inflammatory system and the nervous system effect each other.
We use dry needling to help your body trigger natural healing processes to restore itself back to normal.
Why Integrative Dry Needling?
Integrative Dry Needling is unlike other forms of manual therapy:
Because needling breaks the skin it impacts the nervous systems, inflammation and the musculoskeletal system unlike other forms of treatment.
No matter how you couch it, ultimately, it is your brain that perceives pain. Sometimes the amount of perceived pain is appropriate for the amount of injury sometimes not. Needling activities areas of your brain that are responsible for both pain and emotional stimulation.
Inflammatory markers in your blood, whether long term or from a new injury or local or throughout your body, is what triggers nerves to be more sensitive and send signals to your brain that something is wrong. If we can help manage that inflammation with dry needling and make those nerves less sensitive you are going to get pain relief.
Is Dry Needling Right For Me?
The simple answer is if you have pain, inflammation, or muscle tightness…YES! There are times where needling is not appropriate and your therapist can help you make that decision. (Did you know you can call for a free consult with the PT?) We use it frequently because it works!
What Does Dry Needling Feel Like?
This is probably the number one question we get asked and its hard to answer because it’s honestly a strange sensation. It is not like the sharp needle feeling you are thinking of from the shot at the doctor’s office. These needles are so thin they feel very different. Some of the dry needles you will feel absolutely nothing. If we are in an area of “muscle tightness” you will get this strange, dull ache sensation. I still don’t know how to describe it but it is kind of like doing deep foam rolling. If it ever does feel sharp or pinch we stop and move the needle. That sore, achy feeling is actually a good response with needling, but I never want it to feel painful.
We recommend you continue moving. stretching, exercise, drink plenty of water and enjoy some much needed pain relief. Some people will get a feeling similar to delayed onset muscle soreness like you would get from a workout. The physiology is very similar and that is quite normal. It will go away in a day or so just like your normal muscles soreness does.