Dry Needling

Decades of lower back and hip pain began to melt away for Brenda Wilson as she underwent dry needling from Boone Health Therapy Services.

Brenda’s pain began in her late teens after roller-skating falls and an unusual landing when cliff jumping into a river.

“At the time, the pain was just occasional, but as I got older, it became more and more of an issue,” says Brenda.

Brenda has always been active. She regularly goes on long walks and takes Pilates and yoga classes.

“I love to exercise but my injuries would always give me pain while I was doing what I enjoyed,” says Brenda.

She decided it was time to see a Physical Therapist and made an appointment at Boone Therapy.

“We were able to figure out that through the years, I had been relying on my stronger muscles to make up for my injured muscles. I was overusing my right side to make up for my left side and that was causing me muscle spasms and making my pain and lack of movement worse. Wesley Glenn, my Physical Therapist, helped me realize that and helped me work on using both sides evenly so that my body could heel,” says Brenda.

Brenda noticed a big improvement from her physical therapy exercises but was still having some pain. Her physical therapist Wesley Glenn told her about dry needling.

“Dry needling is a method that allows a physical therapist to reach deep muscle knots (trigger points) that result from injury, poor posture, or positioning,” explains Wesley. “Common areas for these trigger points are in the shoulders, the buttocks, and along the lumbar spine. A solid filament needle is used to engage the tight, painful muscle. When the needle engages the muscle, that reflex results in a short muscle contraction and then a relaxation which allows improved blood flow to the area. This relaxed state allows the patient pain relief and improved movement.”

Brenda says she felt better right away after the dry needling and even found herself standing up straighter.

“I couldn’t believe how much better it made me feel,” says Brenda.

Dry needling is offered at both Boone Therapy locations, and Wesley says it is a great option for many patients experiencing muscular pain and injuries.

“Patients are good candidates when they have chronic pain stemming from soft tissue restrictions, who have limitations in movement because of restrictions in soft tissue or headaches stemming from tight musculature in and around the neck,” says Wesley.

The needling is done right at Boone Therapy during your scheduled appointment. It does require a fee as insurance usually does not cover it. The cost is $40-$60 depending on how many areas you would like the needling done to.

“Dry needling is a very safe and comfortable option,” says Wesley. “There is a very low risk of injury from dry needling. Some people are hesitant because there is a strong association of pain with needles, but many times people are unaware that the needle has even been used until after the work is done.”

It has now been several months since Brenda had dry needling done and she says she is still enjoying the benefits.

“I am not having pain and I’m able to be active again. I’m still standing straight too.”

During a dry needling treatment, one or more thin, monofilament needles are inserted into a muscle trigger point.

Dry needling has been shown to:

• Decrease pain and muscle tension

• Improve blood flow

• Positively affect changes in the central nervous system

• Decrease nerve hypersensitivity

• Reduce inflammation

• Accelerate healing time

By Madison Loethen