Is Dry Needling Painful?

Dry needling is a new, noninvasive treatment for chronic pain. It’s not as painful as it sounds! In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of dry needling so you can decide if it’s right for you.

If you’ve ever had any kind of manual therapy, like work on trigger points, work on the psoas or on the subscap area then you know that manual massage treatments can be uncomfortable. The good news is that dry needling is often much more comfortable than other kinds of manual therapy.

What to expect with a dry needling treatment.

It’s normal for there to be some soreness at the sights that are needled – it usually feels like a dull ache or the soreness you feel after a good workout. Most people end up almost craving the sensation because it lets them know things are working!

The good news is that an experienced practitioner can modulate your treatment to your comfort level. There’s going to be a big difference in comfort from someone who’s performed thousands of treatments compared to the physical therapist down the corner who just took a weekend course and learned dry needling.

A dry needling practitioner like Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM will perform a targeted orthopedic assessment and focus on the specific tissues that are causing your discomfort with sniper like focus.

The benefits of dry needling far outweigh the slight soreness you might experience (and that soreness only lasts around a day).

The benefits of dry needling include:

• Reduces sensitivity to pain

• Decreases muscle tension and spasms

• Relieves nerve irritation

The safety profile of dry needling:

Based on high level research and insurance liability data, dry needling performed by a qualified health professional (acupuncturist, chiropractor, physical therapist) is very safe.

What should you do after a dry needling treatment to reduce soreness?

The best thing you can do is move – so a nice gentle walk or hitting the gym helps increase blood flow and reducing discomfort. I also recommend my patients put a heating pad on the areas we treated for 10-15 minutes.

How Many Dry Needling Treatments Will I Need?

That’s a great question and will really depend on a few factors that can be easily determined with by a skilled practitioner and a good physical exam.

  • How long have you had pain or discomfort?
  • Where is the pain and discomfort located?
  • What’s actually causing your pain and discomfort? (Is it a strained muscle, irritated nerve, irritated ligament, etc)
  • How sensitized is your nervous system?
  • What have you been told by other practitioners? (This is a big one because the words people use can really change how your brain responds to pain).

Most people need somewhere between 4-12 dry needling sessions. In cases of very chronic pain, this number can vary.

How Often Do Should I Get Dry Needling?

Your dry needling practitioner will give you a better idea after a thorough physical exam. For most conditions weekly treatments for a period of time is necessary. You have to allow for enough time between treatments for your tissues to recover and go through the process of healing.

The Next Step

If you’re experiencing any nagging aches, pains or are unable to do the things you once did because of pain and discomfort then dry needling is a great option to try.

If you’re looking for dry needling in Tampa, FL then Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM can help. He is the most experienced dry needling practitioner in the region. Click the link below to setup your session!

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