Functional Dry Needling (FDN) involves the inserting a tiny monofilament needle into a muscle or muscles to release shortened bands of muscle and decrease trigger point activity. This can help resolve pain, muscle tension, promote healing, and assist with neurological remapping (neuroplasticity).
Although FDN and Acupuncture use the same exact needles, Acupuncture follows and Eastern Philosophy of balancing energy systems of the body or Chi. FDN is a Western approach based on origin, insertion, and innervation of muscles.
We use a tiny monofilament needles that are so small they are unable to inject fluids into the body, therefore they are “dry”.
There can be minimal discomfort when needles are being placed. This discomfort typically resolves within 10-15 seconds.
Dry needling offers an alternative treatment option for pain relief and improved muscle movement. Also known as trigger point dry needling or intramuscular manual therapy, the treatment uses a dry needle — a needle without medicine — to deactivate trigger points in your muscle.
Dry needling is typically combined with other physical therapy exercises and techniques. And unlike acupuncture, dry needling focuses on trigger points in the muscle. Acupuncture relieves pain or discomfort by normalizing a patient’s energy flow.
Trigger points are sensitive spots within a muscle that can be tender to touch. They can form after an injury or overuse of your muscles. Touching an active trigger point can refer pain to other parts of your body.
Our physical therapists use dry needing to relax your trigger points and reduce pain.
During your dry needling procedure, a physical therapist will insert a thin, sterile needle into the skin to shut down your muscular trigger points. The length of the needle will depend on the area of your body that is being dry needled. Most patients feel little or no pain as the needle is inserted. The needles are typically used once per muscle and discarded.
The entire procedure takes as little as 15 minutes and there is a low risk of infection. After the procedure, patients typically experience pain relief lasting from a few hours to several weeks. While the side effects from dry needling are usually minor, patients can experience:
Once the procedure is complete, your physical therapist will work to create an individualized plan that uses the benefits of dry needling along with other therapies.
Dry needling is used alongside other therapies to treat many conditions, including:
Dry needling can be used with most teens and adults with musculoskeletal issues — conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments and tendons. However, there are some patients who should not have dry needling, including:
Our physical therapists will work with your doctor to make sure dry needling is right for your treatment plan. Dry needling is not a service provided in every state. To see if a location near you provides dry needling, click here.