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Everything You Want To Know About Dry Needling and More!

Today we’re going to talk about dry needling. We’ll discuss how it can be beneficial on its own, as well as in combination with electrical stimulation, or Estim!


Dry needling and Estim are two powerful physical therapy techniques that can help patients overcome a wide range of physical conditions.



How does Dry Needling work?


Dry needling involves inserting thin, solid needles into muscles, tendons, and ligaments to stimulate the body's natural healing process.


What are the three main benefits of Dry Needling?


  1. One of the primary benefits of dry needling is pain relief. The insertion of the needle stimulates the body's natural pain response, which releases endorphins, a natural painkiller; this can help provide relief from pain and discomfort. This technique can be particularly effective in treating conditions that have been painful for an extended duration of time, such as chronic neck and low back pain.

  2. Dry needling can also help to improve mobility by releasing tension in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This technique can help to improve blood flow to the affected area, which in turn helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, promoting healing. By breaking up tension and knots in the muscles, dry needling can help to improve range of motion, making it an effective technique for patients who are experiencing limited mobility such as frozen shoulder or stiffness in the neck.

  3. Another benefit of dry needling is help in speeding up recovery from injuries and chronic conditions. Needling can help to improve blood flow to the affected area, which in turn helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, promoting healing. Through these mechanisms, dry needling can reduce recovery time, making it an effective technique for patients who are looking to get back to their normal activities as quickly as possible.



What conditions can dry needling treat?


Dry needling can be used to treat a wide range of conditions including chronic pain, sports injuries, and muscle spasms. It can also be used to treat conditions that are not traditionally associated with physical therapy, such as migraines and TMJ disorders. This versatility makes dry needling a popular choice for patients who are looking for a comprehensive approach to healing.




How does Electrical Stimulation work?


Electrical stimulation, or Estim for short, is the utilization of electrical currents applied directly to muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. There are two primary ways the current can be applied: through the skin using adhesive pads, such as with a TENS unit, or using a current applied through a needle during dry needling.



What are the benefits of Estim?


Estim works by using very low energy electrical impulses and imparting them into the body. The nerves all throughout our muscles, skin, tendons, and ligaments use electrical impulses to transport information such as pain, stiffness, and tightness. Estim essentially helps decrease those signals, which results in pain reduction, improved flexibility, and increased range of motion.



What are the benefits of Estim along with Dry Needling?


While using Estim with adhesive pads on the skin can be beneficial, using it with dry needling can make both interventions more effective than when either is used alone. The electrical impulse is able to get directly to the target tissue, as the metal needle conducts the current down into the muscle itself, rather than having to travel through the skin first. Since we’re getting the current directly where it needs to go, we can get the same beneficial effects of pain relief and improvements in flexibility faster!


At the same time, the dry needling itself is enhanced through the application of Estim. The increases in blood flow and stimulation of healing are enhanced by the addition of electrical stimulation.


That’s a lot of dense reading, so long story short: if you’ve got aches and pains, dry needling and electrical stimulation can get you feeling less pain and tightness, improve your flexibility, and help you move better FASTER!


Reach out to Functionize today! We can get you scheduled so you’ll be feeling better in no time! Got more questions? Check out this link for more dry needling details.


Thanks for reading!




Jesse Brown PT, DPT


Along with his education as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Jesse brings an extensive background in exercise to the clinic. With experience across all different types of weight training, including Olympic-style weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting, you can be sure that Jesse has the expertise to help you get where you want to go!


When he’s not helping individuals in the clinic, Jesse can be found practicing what he preaches - lifting the bar. He is an avid weightlifter, competing and refereeing locally through USA Weightlifting.


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