Dry needling is a skilled technique performed by a physical therapist using filiform needles to penetrate the skin and/or underlying tissues to affect change in body structures and functions to help with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, movement impairments, and disability. The needles do NOT contain any medication or injection, which is why they are called “dry”. Dry needles are inserted into sub-dermal structures such as, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, scar tissue, peripheral nerves and neurovascular structures; to solicit a local and systemic response to aid in pain reduction and improved movement patterns.
What is dry needling with electrical stimulation? What are the benefits?
Sometimes, we may add electrical stimulation (e-stim) to the needles. The electrical current is transferred through the needles to help decrease pain, increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and more! The combination of the dry needling with the e-stim can prolong the pain relief effect by blocking nerve pathways and prevent the pain signals from traveling to the brain. The increase in blood circulation promotes the delivery of nutrients to the tissues to help accelerate the healing process.
The e-stim unit that connects the cables to the dry needles can be adjusted by your Physical Therapist to change the frequency, intensity and mode of stimulation depending on the reason of the treatment.
High Frequency/Low Intensity: This will produce a fast acting, more short term pain relief by preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain and blocking nerve pathways.
Low Frequency/High Intensity: This will produce a more long term pain relief that will increase for several hours after treatment.
What does dry needling with E-Stim feel like?
The feeling will be dependent on the frequency and the desired result of the treatment. The feeling can range from a slight buzzing to a more rhythmic twitching sensation that can activate the targeted muscles. Our Physical Therapist will make sure that this treatment is not painful and we can adjust the intensity accordingly.
What conditions can be treated with electro-dry needling?
Musculoskeletal Pain: Trigger points, bone fractures, spasms, strains
Nerve Damage: Post-operative pain, radiculopathy, neuropathy
Joint Pathologies and Tendinopathies: Joint restrictions, muscle sprains, arthritis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome