Functional Dry Needling | Physical Therapy Services
Dry Needling therapy at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Functional Dry Needling | Physical Therapy Services

What is Functional Dry Needling?

Functional Dry Needling (FDN) therapy is a technique that uses a thin filament needle designed to be inserted into the skin and treat underlying neural, muscular and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.

How does it work?

FDN treatments target trigger points, which are typically taut bands in skeletal muscle, more commonly referred to as "knots" that cause pain. In treating the trigger points, we help restore the body structure and function leading to improved physical activity and participation.

The providers of functional dry needling treatment at UnityPoint Health are Kelan Krohe, DPT, Adam Van Der Molen, DPT and Aaron Heffernan, DPT. They're located at UnityPoint Clinic Physical Therapy - Urbandale.

Kelan Krohe, D.P.T at UNityPoint Health - Des Moines

Kelan Krohe
DPT

Adam Van Der Molen, D.P.T. at UNityPoint Health - Des Moines

Adam Van Der Molen
DPT

Aaron Heffernan, D.P.T. at UNityPoint Health - Des Moines

Aaron Heffernan
DPT

Frequently Asked Questions About Functional Dry Needling

What can be treated using FDN?

A wide variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular issues can be treated with dry needle treatment, which include but are not limited to:

  • Shoulder, neck, leg and hip pain
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Muscle strains
  • Groin strain
  • Hamstring strain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Overuse injuries/tendonitis/bursitis
  • Lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • ITB syndrome

Is FDN the same as acupuncture?

No. Acupuncture is a treatment of Eastern Oriental medicine and seeks to alter the flow or energy ("Qi") along traditional meridians for various diseases or conditions. Functional dry needling is an intervention based on treating pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders to improve overall physical function.

Is functional dry needling painful?

Most people do not feel the insertion of the dry needle into the skin, but once the needle penetrates the muscle, the patient will describe a "cramping" sensation or a "deep ache" within the muscle being treated. The goal of each dry needling treatment is to elicit a localized twitch response of the muscle.

What can I expect after treatment?

Symptoms may feel heightened for approximately 24-48 hours, including localized soreness, bruising, and muscle fatigue. It can be common to feel "loopy", tired or nauseous, but this is a normal response from dry needle therapy that resolves within a few hours.

Is it safe?

Yes. We go to great lengths to ensure safety. Our Physical Therapists have all passed their necessary board exams, and have an exhaustive understanding of anatomy. We apply OSHA standards, use personal protective equipment, use sterile needles, and proudly hold to the highest standards of safety. If you are pregnant, it is safe to have functional dry needling performed following your first trimester.

What else should I know?

If you're receiving dry needling treatment, here are a few more tips you should know:

  • It is important to stay hydrated for the next 24-48 hours following treatment.
  • Use ice or heat to help reduce the soreness.
  • Continue with any light stretches your physical therapist has shown you.
  • Massage the treated area to help reduce soreness.

Find Relief with UnityPoint Health

Your physical therapist will determine how many additional sessions would be recommended for your case. If you're looking for a physical therapist, find a provider at one of our outpatient physical therapy locations or call (515) 241-4499 for more information.