We have a new option for both acute and chronic pain relief in our clinic - and a physician experienced in it. Dr. Betel Aklilu has brought dry needling to Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness.
Dry needling involves inserting "dry" needles, or needles without medication, into the skin at the myofascial trigger points of muscles. The needles are very thin and solid and are able to penetrate the taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group.
How Does it Work
The key to dry needling's effectiveness is in the needle placement. The goal is to help muscles both relax and increase their range of motion. Both can improve the patient's pain symptoms.
While the needles used to perform dry needling are similar to acupuncture needles, dry needling is very different than acupuncture. Dry needling focuses on relieving the tightness and pain in muscles with strategic needle placement. Many practitioners describe dry needling as a reset for your muscles, where the treatment "resets" your muscles to a normal resting length. From relaxed muscles can also come improved blood flow.
Some patients feel the needles entering under the skin but some do not. The needle elicits a "twitch" response followed by the relaxation of the muscle. Some patients may experience cramping, aching sensation or slight discomfort that lasts a few seconds.
Pain Conditions That Can Be Treated
Some pain conditions respond better to dry needling than others. Practioner experience has shown dry needling to be most effective for:
- Neck, back and shoulder pain (i.e., whiplash, frozen shoulder)
- Arm pain, such as tennis elbow
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Hip, buttock and leg pain (i.e., sciatica)
- Muscle spasms
- Plantar fasciitis
Some patients experience improved pain in just one session - but for most patients, multiple sessions are needed for complete treatment.
Benefits of Dry Needling
Dry needling is recommended as a therapy in conjunction with having chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Betel has found that when the two are done in tandem, patients feel relief faster and experienced increased mobility. Other benefits include:
- Typically two to five treatment sessions
- Minimal, short-term side effects
- Reduced reliance on medication for pain control
- Natural pain relief solution
To determine if dry needling is right for your pain condition, our physicians will conduct a diagnostic visit and make a recommendation.