Dry Needling is a technique that is used to treat myofascial trigger points. A trigger point is a restriction within soft tissue that reflects an abnormal nervous and musculoskeletal system. Trigger points can cause pain at the area of restriction, and can send pain to other areas of the body called referred pain. Example: A trigger point in the upper trapezius can cause increased pain to the lateral jaw and up to the same side eye. A trigger point in an anterior neck muscle (sternocleidomastoid) can send pain into the ear that feels like an ear infection. A trigger point in the quadricep can cause increased sharp pain underneath the kneecap. Trigger points can restrict joint movement, cause poor body mechanics, and cause postural dysfunction which can cause pain.
Dry Needling IS NOT ACCUPUNCTURE!
Acupuncture is a traditional chinese medicinal technique that uses acupuncture points located on meridians and works to balance/ release blockages of your energy known as “qi” or “chi” to restore your body's balance.
Dry Needling is based on anatomy and neurophysiology, using a sterile single filament needle to help relieve neuromuscular trigger points and is an important tool for diagnosing and treating myofascial trigger points. During this procedure one or a number of needles can be used to penetrate the skin, and relieve the restriction in the muscle. It is not uncommon to be tender at the area of treatment, with a standard muscle soreness as if you have given that muscle a good workout. It is important that the therapist assesses which muscles need treatment, as sometimes the area of pain is NOT the area that needs treating but can be a referred pain from a different area of the body. It is also not uncommon that the area of pain is from joint compression due to a restricted muscle, or an overstretched muscle from postural dysfunction. A thorough evaluation should be performed to assess what the musculoskeletal dysfunction is and how needling might help resolve it.
At J2 Therapy and Wellness Dry Needling is performed by a licensed physical therapist following the Virginia State guidelines, with each patient scheduled for 45-60 minutes with their treating therapist to allow for a thorough evaluation and treatment with every session.