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Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a technique that is similar to acupuncture. Acupuncture is said to manipulate the flow of energy to promote healing. In contrast, dry needling works directly on painful trigger points in muscles. Dry needling is a deeper technique than acupuncture, and it is most effective when combined with other appropriate rehabilitation techniques, like joint mobilization, myofascial therapy, and specific types of exercise.

Think of muscles like a rope... a knot affects a rope's function. It's the same with muscle. A knot in the muscle affects the muscle's ability to contract, relax, and lengthen properly, leading to muscle pain and dysfunction.

The technique involves using very thin needles - the width of a human hair - inserted in muscle trigger points (or knots) to break the pain/spasm/dysfunction cycle.

Dry needling can cause minor soreness for a day or so, but is usually not painful. Many patients feel immediate relief with treatment.

Dry Needling can be used for many conditions, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain/headache
  • Post-op pain
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Jaw (TMJ) pain
  • Hip pain
  • Heel pain
dry needling physical therapy minneapolis st paul maple grove

Research

Several research studies have shown promising results with dry needling. An example is this study on Disc-related Low Back Pain in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences:

Fifty-eight patients were randomized into control and experimental groups. The control group received typical, good-quality physical therapy interventions. The experimental group received the same treatment, with the addition of dry needling techniques to myofascial trigger points found in affected low back and hip muscles. Both groups benefited, but the study found a much greater benefit to pain intensity and disability in the group that also received dry needling.

Our treatment philosophy:

We individualize our treatment approach to your specific needs. In addition to dry needling, your treatment could include:

  • Musculoskeletal Evaluation: A thorough evaluation will be performed on your initial visit to assess for possible muscle imbalances, myofascial restrictions, joint dysfunction, and nerve involvement that may be contributing to your symptoms. A specific plan of care will then be developed. If you are seeing us after a surgery, we work closely with your physician to restore range of motion, strength and function safely.
  • Manual Therapy: Our therapists all have advanced training in manual therapy which is a hands-on approach that addresses restrictions in the soft tissue, myofascial system, and/or joints to facilitate a healing environment.
  • Physical Modalities: Modalities, such as heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation are used to help with pain control as needed, but are soon replaced by a focus on progressive exercise and functional activities.
  • Exercise and Return to Function: At the appropriate point in your treatment, exercises and functional activities will be progressed as tolerated. You will do many of these activities at home or at a health club with rechecks as necessary to progress you safely back to full function. Each patient’s plan of care is individualized to what is needed for the best outcome possible.

Expected Outcomes: Number of visits and duration of care depends on underlying condition. Our average is 6-9 visits.

Dry Needling is currently offered by Carey Meehan, PT, at our Maple Grove Clinic.


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Maple Grove
(763) 315-1296

Edina
(952) 924-0199

St. Paul
(651) 645-8083