Have you heard about one of the services that we offer at Fabrizio’s? It is called dry needling and it has changed the way that we treat patients.
Dry needling was developed from the ancient Chinese healing art of acupuncture. While acupuncture is based on the ideas of body energy and meridians, dry needling has a modern philosophy rooted in our understanding of the nervous and muscular system. There are similarities between the two ideas and in fact, the needles that are used are identical.
Dry needling works at three levels.
The first level is the symptomatic level. This is the level where you are experiencing pain or discomfort. This is where you will notice the effect of the treatment immediately. Tight bands in muscles, called trigger points, often cause pain by restricting blood flow and irritating nerves. Inserting a needle into these tight bands creates a small lesion which will stimulate blood flow and allow the muscle to relax.
The second level is the segmental level. This is the body segment or the nerve pattern where you are having the pain. Sometimes needling will be done away from the area that you have pain because that area is related to other sites by nerve connections. For example, you may have lower back pain but also notice a pain in your thigh or calf. That is because the nerves from your back travel down your legs to those areas. Thus needling the thigh and calf can help to ease lower back pain.
The third level is systemic. Early studies have shown decreases in systemic inflammatory markers which could mean that inserting needles can tone down the inflammation of your whole body. Studies with functional (real time) MRI of the brain show that needling alters the way the brain perceives pain.
Dry needling carries some risk. It is an invasive technique so any blood diseases or previous surgeries should be discussed with your provider. The most common side effect is soreness in the areas that were needled. This typically subsides in a matter of hours or a couple days. Your provider will be very well versed in anatomy and take caution while needling in sensitive areas. If you have any concerns, make sure to mention them to your provider.
Overall, dry needling has had an amazing impact on our patient’s success. People that have come to us with conditions like plantar fasciitis, lower back pain, disc herniations, nerve pain, arthritis, hip pain, jaw pain, and others and dry needling has helped greatly to get them back to pain-free functioning. Our athletes have also taken a liking to the treatment to improve their recovery and performance.
I have been trained through Dr. Yun-Tao Ma’s Integrative Dry Needling system. If you think dry needling could benefit you, give our office a call and set up an appointment.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Joel Ardner