If you’re on pins and needles dealing with pain, needles can actually help alleviate that pain.
Dry needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points, tendons, ligaments, or near nerves to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions, explained Sondra Hahn, PT, DPT, a physical therapist with Trinity Community Clinic – Velva.
This procedure is different than acupuncture, a practice of Eastern medicine. Dry needling is scientifically based, while acupuncture is a pseudoscience, Hahn said. It “does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy, or Qi, along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases,” she added, noting that dry needling is “a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in the musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, headaches, and more.”
“The specifics are tendonitis, muscle strains, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), headaches, shoulder pain, knee pain, leg pain, neck pain, back pain, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and golfers elbow,” Hahn said. “The target population is anyone with acute or chronic pain, headaches, and muscle tightness, or any of the other injuries just mentioned.”
Dry needling has become more common in the nation, with physical therapists becoming certified in the procedure, Hahn noted. She was certified in dry needling in October 2018 and began performing the procedures this past February. She estimates that she does the procedure once a week.
A dry needling session can last anywhere from eight to 30 minutes, depending on what problem the patient is having. Dry needling is a self-pay procedure, meaning insurance does not cover it. A referral is not necessary unless dry needling is done along with other forms of therapy.
Trinity Community Clinic – Velva is located at 111 1st St W, Velva. For appointments or consultations, please call 701-338-2066.