Integrative Dry Needling for Physical Therapy
Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) or Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT) is used for the treatment of soft tissue pain and dysfunction. IDN technique is a modern Western medical modality that is not based on Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture. Dry needling has its own theoretical concepts, terminology, needling technique and clinical application.
Dry Needling was first developed in 1940’s by Janet Travell, MD, former medical adviser to the White House (JFK’s physician). Dry needling is based on modern understanding of human anatomy and pathophysiology and on modern scientific research, drawing heavily on leading-edge neurological research using modern imaging techniques such as Functional MRIs of the brain.
Dry needling is also known as trigger point needling, dry needling technique, integrative dry needling, intramuscular stimulation (IMS), or intramuscular manual therapy.
Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, such as, inflammation, contracture, trigger points, tissue adhesion, microcirculation, edema, and biomechanical balance of neuromusculoskeletal system
An Integrative Dry Needling evaluation allows our trained physical therapists to predict the prognosis of the treatments, such as how many treatments the patients will need and how long the symptom relief can be achieved.
Integrative Dry Needling, combined with physical therapy treatment, has been shown to help the following conditions:
- Acute and chronic tendonitis
- Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
- Post-surgical pain
- Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work-related injuries
- Chronic pain conditions
- Headaches and whiplash
- Lower back pain
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Muscle Spasms
- Sciatic Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Many other nueromusculoskeletalconditions . . .
Please note: Integrative Dry Needling is just one modality used in conjunction with the variety of manual therapy techniques and prescriptive exercises prescribed by our manual physical therapist to restore you to optimal physical function. IDN is only one component of a multidimensional treatment approach, geared toward creating a successful outcome for you. As physical therapist, we address neuromusculoskeletal conditions, biomechanical muscle imbalances, postural dysfunctions, muscular flexibility limitations, strength deficits, and swollen or stiff joints. . . all of these conditions may require much more than just dry needling.
How IDN Improves Function And Reduces Pain:
1. Dry Needling of muscular trigger points causes relaxation through disruption of the motor end plate.
2. Tiny injuries created by the needle insertion cause a local healing response in the dysfunctional, painful tissue, which restores normal function through the natural healing process.
3. Dry Needling stimulates neural pathways which block pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system.
4. The pain control process occurs by:
- Opioid suppression at the spinal cord level.
- The Gate Theory of Pain.
- Activating neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which contribute to a systemic pain inhibiting effect, and this neurotransmitter response extends the therapeutic benefit to other areas of the body and other body systems.
5. Dry Needling causes a local chemically mediated response through the release of Bradykinin, Substance P, and other body proteins and neurotransmitters, which block the transmission of pain messages.
How Effective Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling efficacy varies from person to person. The same soft tissue pain symptom can be completely resolved in some patients (28%), partially in most patients (64%) and of low or no efficacy in a few patients (8%). Therapeutic results for soft tissue pain management are predictable and depend on:
1. The self-healing potential of the individual (health status)
2. The healing potential of the symptom(s) of the individual
It Is Important To Note That As Physical Therapists:
1. We do not claim to practice acupuncture, and it would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of dry needling as an “Acupuncturist” since dry needling practitioners do not use TCM concepts.
2. We do not use TCM acupuncture theories, meridian acupoints, and terminology.
We do not use TCM ancient meridian systems, such as Qi (Chi) or energy channels.
3. We do not use TCM acupuncture diagnostic techniques like tongue and pulse assessments.
4. We treat primarily neuromusculoskeletal conditions, where a TCM practitioner works on balancing whole body systems.
5. It is pointless to compare hours of training for TCM acupuncturists and western trained Physical Therapists. Physical Therapists will have more oranges and TCM acupuncturists will have more apples. The similarities the two systems have, is that they both use fine Acupuncture-type needles which are inserted into the human body.
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