Aquatic & Physical Therapy in Gilbert
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(480) 892-2428
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Now offering Dry Needling!

Carling Aquatic & Physical Therapy is now offering Dry Needling as part of our service. Despite its scary-sounding name, “dry needling” is a safe, effective treatment involving needles that are the same size as those used in acupuncture. It involves inserting a needle along a client’s trigger points — the tight bands of tissue within a muscle — to promote the body’s own healing mechanisms. The technique has long been used in Europe, but it’s only in the past 30 years that it’s risen in popularity in the United States. But look for it to catch on more widely, because when it comes to benefits, dry needling boasts plenty.

While Dry Needling and Acupuncture use the same thin, stainless steel filiform needles, the application of treatment is very different. Dry Needling primary application is to relieve muscle pain and cramping by inserting the needle into a trigger point that will help relax the muscle. It can also be effective in treating nagging tendonitis issues by helping break up scar tissue and helping increase blood flow to the affected area.

It can loosen stiff muscles, ease joint pain, improve blood flow and oxygen circulation within the body. That brings results for those who are trying to optimize sports performance, recover faster from injury, or prevent issues from becoming chronic.

There are two types of trigger points. Active ones are painful to the touch, and cause the body to compensate with other muscles, which may increase injury. Latent trigger points may not be causing pain yet, but could be on their way to becoming a problem. Dry needling treatments first address the active points, and needles are strategically placed to alleviate them. When a needle hits a trigger point, metabolic waste chemicals including lactic acid that have been built up inside the tissue are released. Once this block is removed, the body increases blood flow and oxygen circulation to the area, and the body’s natural healing capabilities come into play. In general, trigger points cause tightness in the muscles that block blood flow and oxygen; dry needling removes that block.

We create a map of trigger points by first doing a comprehensive assessment of your muscles and tight spots within them. Once these points are found, the therapist will target the most painful ones first and then work to alleviate the others. Unlike acupuncture sessions, which can involve dozens of needles in several areas of the body, dry needling often utilizes just a few needles that are strategically placed along affected muscles.

Dry needling differs from acupuncture in that it’s not considered curative on its own. It’s often part of a multi-technique physical therapy plan that may also include movement analysis, targeted exercises, and other interventions. The technique is one tool that therapists can use to address myofascial pain and muscle tightness. In some cases, a therapist might do two to three treatments of dry needling in order to make subsequent movement therapies more effective.

Interested in learning how dry needling may help you in your recovery process? Contact us at 480-892-2428