The Ultimate Guide To Dry Needling: Every Question You Should Ask, Answered!

Dry needling is getting more and more popular. You’ve probably heard your favorite athlete mention it. You probably have friends that have tried it. Let’s cover EVERYTHING you need to know about dry needling.

Table of Contents:

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a minimally invasive intervention that stimulates trigger points to relieve pain and improve range of motion. The treatment is done by inserting thin acupuncture needles in the skin and in muscles, tendons and ligaments. The needles may be placed deep or shallow and remain in place for a few seconds or minutes, depending on the type of pain being treated. There’s no medicine in the needles. The positive changes happen because of the needle only.

Why is dry needling different from traditional acupuncture?

Just like there are different styles of music, there are different styles of needling. Dry needling is just another technique of needling that focuses on the treatment of trigger points and myofascial pain syndromes.

Dry needling is different from from Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which are a complete medical system used to treat more than just pain. Depending on the practitioner Acupuncture may be used to treat many medical ailments beyond pain, including depression, fatigue, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

Now this gets tricky because Dry Needling & Orthopedic or Sports Acupuncture are very similar in their needling techniques.

In the end Dry Needling is nothing new, and the techniques used for dry needling have been practiced by orthopedic acupuncturists for 2,000 years.

The problem is many acupuncturists did not train specifically in orthopedics and instead specialized in other areas. Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM specialized in Orthopedics during his doctorate program

What is dry needling used for?

Dry needling is used for treating essentially any type of musculoskeletal pain you are experiencing. Some common issues are: Low back pain, Knee Pain, Osteoarthritis, Joint dysfunction, carpal tunnel, tension type headaches, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, TMJ, Radiculopathies, Whiplash associated disorders, Disk pathology, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, and much much more.

What are the risks of dry needling?

The risks of dry needling are very limited when you receive treatment from a well trained and experienced professional. Most risks occur when you receive treatment from a professional who only took a short weekend course and has limited experience using a needle.

In Florida, physical therapists just received the right to practice dry needling in 2020 after completing a short weekend course. According to a survey of physical therapists, your average PT only performs between 0-3 dry needling treatments a day.

In comparison, acupuncturists like Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM have practiced dry needling exclusively for years and needle between 15-25 patients per day. You can’t compare the experience of 30,000+ Treatments to someone who just started practicing a very complex procedure.

Some of the risks of dry needling include:

  • Bruising
  • Soreness during or after treatment
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Bleeding at the site where the needle was inserted

One very rare risk when performing dry needling is the puncturing of a major organ, such as a pneumothorax.

What are the benefits of dry needling?

The good news is that the benefits of dry needling FAR outweigh the small potential risks of dry needling.

The benefits of dry needling are that it is a very minimally invasive treatment that has a huge amount of upside in the case of pain relief. Dry needling has the ability to treat very complex pain conditions with laser like focus and provide long term lasting relief.

When it comes to treating pain – the traditional routes of conservative care including NSAIDs, physical therapy and then the escalation to more invasive treatments like steroid injections and surgery are fairly limited in the positive effects.

Adding dry needling in to the treatment of your pain condition makes sense.

When should I get dry needling?

Like anything, dry needling works best when problems are treated as early as possible. The longer you wait to treat a pain condition, the more your nervous system gets trained to stay in pain and the more difficult it is to resolve the pain. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible – it just takes more time and treatment to make a change.

While Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM has treated just about every type of pain condition someone could experience, the ones that respond the quickest don’t wait to use dry needling as a last resort.

How many dry needling sessions do I need?

The amount of dry needling sessions required will depend on your specific condition and what is found during your orthopedic exam. Expect to need between 4-20 sessions for the vast majority of pain conditions.

How much does dry needling cost?

Dry needling is going to vary in cost depending on where you are located. Dry Needling in Tampa, FL will range in prices from between $75-$125 dollars depending on the amount of muscles and regions being treated.

Does insurance cover dry needling?

Insurance coverage for dry needling is very limited at this time across the USA and will vary state by state and insurance policy by insurance policy. You will have to call up your insurance company to verify if your specific policy has any in or out of network coverage.

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM does not directly bill insurance and instead provides you with a super bill that you can submit to your insurance company if you do in fact have coverage.

The Next Step

If you’re looking for dry needling near me in Tampa, FL then Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM is by far the most experienced and qualified dry needling practitioner. Click the button below to schedule your dry needling session today!

Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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