If you’re recovering from a sports injury

… Dry needling is an effective treatment for pain and offers a faster recovery

… Dry needling and acupuncture are similar but different treatments for managing pain based on their specific objectives

… Ask your True Sports physical therapist about the benefits of dry needling for you

Use the Benefits of Dry Needling

While physical therapists today utilize several different methods to treat dysfunction, many favor dry needling as one of the most effective methods for treating pain that would otherwise be debilitating for athletes playing at both professional and amateur levels. 

If you are experiencing pain from regular participation in a sport, consider dry needling -an innovative treatment for pain relief and sports recovery- before more invasive modalities. 

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a treatment for releasing knots in soft tissue known as myofascial trigger points. These trigger points are hypersensitive areas on muscles, ligaments and tendons that often cause pain and stiffness after an injury. 

To relieve this discomfort, a physical therapist inserts thin filament needles into the painful trigger points. Doing so stimulates the healing process to promote improved function and pain relief.

It is a very effective method for jumpstarting recovery after sports injuries, which is why it’s popular among sports physical therapists, and athletes as well.

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Pain specialists describe trigger points in your body as having abnormal electrical activity and chemicals known to cause inflammation. That’s why you hurt. Dry needling works by instigating biochemical and mechanical changes that relieve your pain, reduce muscle tension and improve range of motion.

Research shows inserting a needle into a trigger point creates a microtrauma that changes the electrical and chemical activity in the area and normalizes it, restoring function and relieving pain. The trigger point is thus deactivated and the surrounding muscle can relax. This also draws in white blood cells and plasma cells to begin the healing process.

Many studies have proven this kind of treatment is effective and beneficial for people with a wide array of chronic and acute conditions and injuries. Many athletes prefer dry needling over other treatments because it does not involve medication that causes side effects, and it complements other techniques of physical therapy. 

What Is the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

Dry needling therapy is often compared to acupuncture. There are several differences between the two, specifically in the objectives and philosophies of each treatment.

Dry needling is based on Western neuro-anatomy and scientific understanding from years of research. In fact, Maryland is the first United State to add dry needling to its practice act in 1984. As a result, Baltimore physical therapists have been on the cutting edge of this modality for more than 35 years. Dry needling reduces pain and restores function through the release of myofascial trigger points in muscle.

Acupuncture is a 2,000-year-old Chinese healing modality that treats medical conditions by restoring the body’s flow of energy (Qi) through meridian or energy points. It uses needles, heat, pressure and other treatments to restore the body’s self-healing ability to reduce pain and restore function.

Both modalities are well-known medically as effective treatments for chronic pain and both can be practiced by medical doctors, chiropractors and licensed physical therapists, although an acupuncturist must be licensed.

Is Dry Needling Painful?

This is a common question. Generally, dry needling is considered a pain-free, comfortable treatment with no side effects. Most people who undergo dry needling report no pain at all. At most you might feel a slight, momentary sting when a needle is inserted or removed. Some patients describe this feeling as a momentary tingle, cramp or ache. 

Who Can Benefit from Dry Needling?

Few people are not good candidates for dry needling. Athletes and non-athletes alike can benefit from dry needling, such as those people who have musculoskeletal problems due to acute and chronic injuries, tendinitis, muscle strains, neck and back pain, headaches, hip and knee pain, fibromyalgia and other conditions.

In general, dry needling is considered an excellent treatment for people suffering from injuries, pain and stiffness. Not everyone responds to the treatment the same way, but for most people, it is an incredibly effective method for pain relief and recovery. 

If you are working with a sports physical therapist after an injury, talk to them about the benefits of dry needling to accelerate your rehabilitation and recovery so you can return to your sport ready to play.

True Sports Physical Therapy – Where Maryland Athletes Rehab

At True Sports, we’re sports-focused because you’re sports-focused. The best physical therapists in Baltimore and Maryland provide the highest level of sports physical therapy and expertise you need to get back to your sport. With six convenient state-of-the-art locations to choose from, any athlete who takes their rehab seriously can get awesome care and extraordinary results. Select your location and schedule an appointment and have True Sports get you back to your team. For questions about insurance or self-pay rates, please call our office at 1-401-946-1672.