Dry Needling: What to Expect

by | Apr 26, 2019 | Chiropractic Treatments, Dry Needling

If you have been experiencing pain in certain parts of your body, your chiropractor may recommend dry needling. What exactly can you expect from this procedure and what do you need to know to prepare yourself beforehand? In this guide, we take a look at dry needling to see how (and why) it is used as a chiropractic treatment.

What to Expect at Your Dry Needling Appointment

Dry needling is a treatment that uses acupuncture needles to release certain trigger points to relieve pain or increase range of motion. This treatment may be used in cases where you have pulled a muscle or it may help to speed up healing after a muscle or ligament injury. It helps to reduce pain and tension within the muscle and also helps to improve function within the motor endplates, which is where nerve impulses send signals to muscles. Done by a trained professional, this chiropractic treatment can be a highly effective part of rehabilitation after injury.

What exactly is a trigger point, you may be wondering? Essentially, this is a band of muscle that lies within a larger muscle group. These points often feel tender and touching them can lead to pain in other areas of the body.

What can you expect during and after this treatment? Let’s take a look:

  • There may be some tenderness right after the treatment within the target site. This may not always happen but it’s best to be prepared. Some soreness is normal – you may even find that you only feel it a few hours later or the next day. This tenderness typically feels like you might feel after a good workout. If you feel any serious pain after more than two days, speak to your chiropractor.
  • In some cases, there may be bruising. Although this is not common, you don’t need to worry. Areas such as the shoulders, face, chest, and part of the legs are more prone to bruise. Icing can help to reduce any bruising. If you are concerned, let your chiro know.
  • You may also have an emotional response after the treatment. This, too, is normal. Some feel tired, others feel energised, some feel emotional, and others may feel a bit groggy. This feeling will wear off after an hour or two. Once again, if you are concerned or the feelings last more than a day, let your chiro know.
  • In some cases, the treatment may end up making the symptoms worse initially. This is nothing to worry about and continued treatment will usually be required to help with the healing. Things should feel better after a day or two.
  • It is also worth noting that in very rare cases, some patients may have a bad reaction to the treatment. If you ever feel serious pain or any reaction that continues for more than 48 hours or you notice any other reaction that does not feel right, speak to your chiropractor as soon as possible.

For most patients, this treatment is a highly effective way to deal with pain and facilitate healing. To learn more about dry needling treatments at our chiropractic practice in Durban, get in touch with Spine and Beyond today.


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