Trigger Point Dry Needling

Dry needling is an effective treatment for numerous musculoskeletal disorders and other conditions. At their offices in Downtown Washington DC, the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation team provides expert dry needling to reduce pain from spinal conditions, headaches, sports injuries, and osteoarthritis, to name just a few. To discover how you could benefit from highly skilled dry needling treatment, call today or book an appointment online.

Read about STAR's financial policy regarding dry needling here. 

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is also known as trigger point dry needling (TDN) or intramuscular stimulation (IMS). It’s a safe, effective therapy that relaxes myofascial trigger points and restores normal muscle tone, length, coordination, strength, and function.

The dry needling process involves the insertion and repeated manipulation of a solid needle in a trigger point. Trigger points are small spots in your muscles that cause intense pain. They develop when the tissues get too tight or knotted.

Manipulating the needles under your skin triggers the release of endorphins and cortisol that provide pain relief.

Dry needling also produces a local twitch response (LTR), which is an involuntary reflex in your spinal cord. This results in ongoing relaxation of the muscles in two ways: first, by releasing shortened bands of fibers in overactive or tight muscles, and second, by activating underactive or weak muscles.

Deactivating trigger points often results in immediate symptom relief. Your therapist at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation can then train your muscles to work more effectively with their new pain-free range of motion.

What conditions can dry needling treat?

The Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation team uses dry needling to treat numerous conditions, including:

Spinal pain

Dry needling can ease the pain of injuries like whiplash and conditions like degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis.

Head pain

Headaches and migraines, eyestrain, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) all respond well to dry needling. It’s also effective for oral problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction and tooth impaction.

Upper limb pain

Dry needling helps reduce shoulder pain from rotator cuff tears, bursitis, tendonitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), and impingement syndrome. Elbow conditions such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) also improve after dry needling.

In the hand and wrist, dry needling helps gamekeeper’s thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and osteoarthritis.

Lower limb pain

Dry needling is an effective treatment for knee pain and problems like plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain, shin splints, metatarsalgia, gout, and Morton’s neuroma.

Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation also uses dry needling to treat sports-related overuse injuries, postsurgical pain, work-related injuries, pain caused by auto accidents, and chronic pain conditions like myofascial pain syndrome (MPS).

Are dry needling and acupuncture the same?

Dry needling and acupuncture are similar because they both use solid needles that go into specific points on your body, but they do have fundamental differences.

Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that uses your body’s energy flow to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Dry needling uses principles from modern scientific studies of the neuromusculoskeletal system.

If you have a condition that could benefit from dry needling, call Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation today, or book an appointment online.