You've probably heard of it by now, this magical treatment that uses needles (eek!) to do... What? According to EvidenceInMotion (formerly KinetaCore, with whom I trained) Functional Dry Needling, or FDN, is the 'insertion of fine filament needles into neuromuscular junctions or motor points, stimulating the muscle and bringing unbelievable pain relief and significantly improved function to athletes and patients who have been suffering for years.'
So what does that mean, exactly?
Yes, the treatment uses a needle. But it's very fine and there's no injection (this is the 'dry' part of 'dry needling') so it doesn't feel at all like a typical shot at the doctor's office. Sometimes people report a cramping sensation, or aching at the site of the needle insertion, but this typically is the tight muscle, or 'trigger point' responding to the needle. With the release of the tight muscle, comes the pain relief.
So how does it work?
Stimulating a trigger point with a needle can increase blood flow back to a tight area and release the muscle tension of a trigger point. Additionally, dry needling, especially when used with specific electric stimulation, can activate nerve fibers and receptors that stimulate the brain to reset dysfunctional patterns and even release endorphins – which feel good!
Is Functional Dry Needling right for you?
It is a great tool and component of the therapy process, but certainly isn't necessarily for everyone. Contact Streamline Physical Therapy and we can advise you on whether dry needling might be a helpful addition to your recovery plan for tightness, mobility issues, or acute or chronic pain.