As part of your overall treatment plan, your physical therapist may recommend dry needling and/or cupping to help promote pain relief and healing. These medically-proven methods are provided by certified physical therapists at select UnityPoint Health clinics. Anyone with joint pain, muscle pain and/or tendon pain can benefit from dry needling or cupping therapy. Headaches, chronic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and muscle overuse are a few examples of common conditions treated with these therapies.
Learn more below or contact one of our physical therapy locations to see if dry needling or cupping therapy meets your needs.
What is 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.
The mechanical stimulation of the muscle by the inserted needle produces a local twitch response from muscle fibers. This dramatically reduces the muscle activity, resulting in relaxation and a decrease in pain and dysfunction. The decrease in pain is related to the removal of muscular compression on joint, nerve and vascular tissue. Studies have also shown that inserting needles into trigger points cause biochemical changes which alleviate pain. This is often a positive sign confirming the trigger point as being the cause of the pain.
A wide variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular issues can be treated with dry needle treatment, which includes but are not limited to:
- Shoulder, neck, leg and hip pain
- Low back pain
- Muscle strains
- Groin strain
- Hamstring strain
- Carpal tunnel
- Overuse injuries/tendonitis/bursitis
- Lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- ITB syndrome
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.