The Frequently Asked Questions about Dry Needling

Are you tired of having that chronic nagging knot on the top of your shoulders? Are you sick of using heating pads or getting massages with no sustained improvement? Dry Needling (DN) could be the recovery catalyst you have been looking for!

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At Symmetry Physical Therapy, our physical therapists complete a thorough evaluation and perform one-on-one individualized treatments (no techs or assistants) for every patient. Our therapists use many treatment tools to improve healing and reduce recovery time. One very popular and effective treatment technique is dry needling. With this technique, therapists can target muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, scar tissue, trigger points, and peripheral nerves. This is can also help relieve a variety of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. 

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What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a treatment that uses monofilament needles to target specific tissues to reduce pain and improve recovery times. For a more detailed description visit our website.

Is Dry Needling like acupuncture?

Although there is some overlap such as the use of small needles and overlap of acupoints and trigger points, dry needling goes deeper than acupuncture. This is because the technique is focused on the specific anatomical structures necessary for the condition in question.

Does it hurt?

No. The needles used are ⅛ the size of needles used to get your blood drawn. You might experience a slight prick sensation when the needle first punctures the skin but our physical therapists use several techniques to make the treatment very comfortable.

What Can We Treat with Dry Needling?

Dry needling treats a variety of conditions. Examples include such as TFCC sprains, cervicogenic headaches, patellar tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis and much more. 

Is Dry Needling safe?

Our physical therapists underwent extensive continuing education and specific training to be credentialed in dry needling. Patients undergo a physical therapy evaluation and are cleared of any contraindicated conditions to ensure the best outcomes. Each needle is sterile and only used once. 

Immediate Relief and Long Lasting Results

Dry needling helps to desensitize local pain receptors through release of oxytocin and many other physiological pathways which provides immediate pain relief. After your session, you might feel soreness which is normal and will dissipate after one or two days. You will also feel less tightness in the respective muscles which will help increase your range of motion. The procedure also sets an environment for collagen remodeling and production. This reorganizes the tissues, which helps with conditions such as muscular strains. 

After the first few sessions, dry needling has caused central nervous system changes by decreasing the representation of the painful areas in the brain which leads to long lasting results. Through this treatment, the body also releases endorphins and other hormones which help decrease pain intensity. DN is able to promote tendon healing via angiogenesis and fibroblast migration which is beneficial in bringing more blood flow and oxygen to the respective area such as osteoarthritis. DN will help to activate inhibited muscles by alleviating pain and adhesions. Through the multiple bodily changes that occur after treatment, you will have improved function. This will greatly reduce the risk for re-injury. 

What does my first dry needling session look like?

Here at Symmetry Physical Therapy we will perform a thorough evaluation to diagnose what is causing your discomfort. We will not only look at the area/joint in question but evaluate the body as a whole. Oftentimes, one area of the body is affected by a limitation, weakness, tightness, or restriction in another area of the body. In order to properly treat the area of discomfort once and for all, we need to address the foundational limitation. This allows us to decrease any compensatory patterning that is occurring in the body. During or after your session, we will also include other services such as joint manipulation, cupping therapy, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, strength programs, and the use of the WinBack Machine (we are one of seven clinics to have a WinBack machine in Florida)  to further speed up your recovery process. 

After your first treatment, most people feel immediate pain relief! For chronic conditions the initiation of treatment can help kickstart the healing process, provide immediate results, and drastically cutting down the amount of physical therapy sessions needed in the overall plan of care.

Did we spark your interest in dry needling? Do you live in the Downtown Miami or Brickell area? Come receive your physical therapy evaluation and start your first session with us at Symmetry Physical Therapy. If you have any questions or concerns regarding dry needling visit our dry needling page.