Functional Dry Needling
Functional dry needling (FDN) is a technique used by our team at Evolution Physical Therapy to treat myofascial pain, which is a chronic condition affecting the musculoskeletal system. It often occurs after a muscle is overused or you have a repeated injury.
What is Functional Dry Needling?
Dry needling is the use of thin, small, sterile needles to deactivate trigger points in the muscles that cause a replication of the pain pattern. The muscles then contract and release. This contracting and releasing improves muscle flexibility, removes the source of irritation, promotes healing (produces local inflammation which is necessary to produce healing), and decreases the spontaneous electrical activity at the trigger points. It is not traditional acupuncture, energy treatment, or sham treatment.
Physical therapists who have undergone substantial training in the areas of reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, and pain are licensed to perform this skill. Incorporating FDN with other manual therapy and rehabilitative methods has been shown to be very effective in improving and hastening outcomes.
Benefits of Functional Dry Needling
Functional dry needling is one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include a variety of techniques, such as manual therapy. There is no medication injected and the entire process is painless. In addition to being minimally invasive, the main benefits of dry needling are:
- Accelerates the body’s natural healing process
- Lowers muscle tension and pain
- Improves range of motion (ROM)
- Resolves headaches and migraines
- Increases blood flow
- Helps with tendonitis
Who Should Consider Functional Dry Needling?
Functional dry needling may be particularly helpful for patients who are sensitive to pain medication or whose pain levels have not improved after multiple sessions of other physical therapy, rest, exercise, or surgery. You should consider this technique if you are dealing with:
- Back pain and sciatica
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder or rotator cuff tendonitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Hip pain
- Myofascial pain syndromes
What are Trigger Points?
Trigger points (“knots”) or spasms in muscles develop from an injury, poor posture, or a disease process. Trigger points are formed from compression and irritation of the nerves exiting the spine. Muscle banding and tightness can occur anywhere along their pathway and innervation distribution. When the nerves are irritated, they can cause a protective spasm to any of the muscles along their pathway.
Trigger point dry needling is an appropriate adjunctive treatment for all musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Patients commonly report an immediate pain reduction and/or elimination after eliciting a local twitch response, but may experience soreness for one to two days post-treatment.
Learn More About Functional Dry Needling at Your Nearest Evolution Location
If you are suffering from muscle tightness and spasms, dry needling may be right for you. Schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled physical therapists today!
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