Dry Needling (DN) involves inserting a solid filiform needle into a muscle, fascia, or attachment site of a muscle in order to help release trigger point activity and/or tight/tender areas of tissue. This can help decrease pain and improve flexibility, as well as facilitate healing of the tissues in the area. DN is valuable in treating myofascial-related symptoms, nerve, and joint pain, and for improving muscle performance. DN elicits a local twitch response in the muscle, which biomechanically alters muscle activity, leading to decreased pain and dysfunction. DN is NOT the same as traditional Chinese acupuncture. Dry needling is typically not performed as an isolated treatment, but as an adjunct to a comprehensive physical therapy program including exercise and other manual therapy treatments.
The initial insertion of the needle should not cause significant discomfort. The twitch response of the muscle, which Is a favorable response that helps release trigger points, is sometimes described as a “deep ache,” “electrical shock,” or “cramping” sensation. There may be some soreness immediately after treatment or a few hours after treatment in the area of the body that was dry needled, similar to that which can occur after a deep tissue massage or intense work out.
Involves use of silicone (relatively soft/squeezable) and/or suction pump cups (plastic with valves to adjust degree of suction. The cups apply pressure to the skin to empty the air inside, and a vacuum effect anchors the tissue into the cup, allowing it to adhere to the skin
Cups may be used with or without lubricants, and can be stationary (static) or moving (gliding)
Benefits of cupping: Mobilizing scar tissue & soft tissue, improving range of motion, decreasing toxins, increased circulation, stimulate energy flow, reducing trigger/tender points, decreased pain/inflammation.
Gua Sha involves the use of a hand-held tool to perform a “scraping” motion over lubricated skin to improve blood circulation, reduce scar tissue restrictions, help rid the body of toxins/waste, and reduce muscle/fascia pain/tightness/inflammation.
Muscle Energy Technique & Joint Mobilizations
This technique is used to improve joint alignment and mobility, which can in turn reduce pain/inflammation. Examples of conditions that PT may be used to treat include: neck & back pain, headaches, tendonitis, shoulder pain, hip & knee pain, muscle strains, overuse injuries, calf pain & plantar fasciitis, and many more.