Treating sports-related injuries with evidence-based dry needling therapy

Dry needling therapyDry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation, is an alternative medicine that’s been adapted from acupuncture. It’s used to release knots in the soft tissue known as myofascial trigger points. These trigger points are hypersensitive areas on the muscles, ligaments and tendons that can lead to pain and stiffness following an injury.

While it may sound intimidating, dry needling is a proven, effective and mild technique for those with certain musculoskeletal issues.

What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

Dry needling is a sub-category of acupuncture. It is a technique known as “ashi” needling. The acupoint is often not found on a traditional list of acupuncture points and is defined as the most tender spot on a muscle when pressed on. The needles are often not retained, or left in for 15-30 minutes like you would find in a conventional acupuncture visit. 

Skilled acupuncturists and physical therapists often use this technique to address neuromuscular conditions, pain and range of motion issues following a sports-related injury.

Is dry needling painful?

When performed by a skilled acupuncturist, there is little discomfort with this technique. Common sensations of dry needling are dullness at the insertion site, a radiating sensation (when the dullness travels to spots away from the insertion site), and a localized twitch response (like an eye twitch, but bigger). In fact, we call these therapeutic sensations because if you do not feel them, there is little to no pain relief. Dry needling is often thought of as painful because of the intensity of the treatment and lingering soreness for days afterward. This is not the case however for most patients because of the often immediate pain relief that follows.  

What types of conditions can dry needling treat?

Dry needling can treat many sports-related injuries or pain including:

  • Neck/Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Tennis/Golfers Elbow
  • Headaches
  • Hip and Gluteal Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
  • Chronic Pain
  • Athletic Performance

If you or a loved one is experiencing pain from regular participation in a sport, consider dry needling before more invasive treatments. Please call our offices at 631-403-0504 to request an appointment and learn more about our individualized treatment plans.

Get the relief you need to get back to the playing field or court fast.