Inserting needles into specific areas of the body has been used in medicine for millennia. We still do not know exactly how this treatment works, but one theory behind dry needling is that causing a micro-injury to an area kickstarts a process that can help heal injured muscles, nerves, and ligaments.
Dry needling can help augment the therapeutic benefits of hands-on manipulation. Because the needles used are smaller and smoother than hypodermic needles, the procedure is far less painful than an injection. Typically, the needles are inserted into the appropriate areas, manipulated, and then withdrawn minimizing any discomfort.
Although dry needling can be incredibly effective on its own, we will sometimes utilize electrical stimulation (e-stim) to augment its effects. Adding e-stim is particularly beneficial when treating pain or when trying to activate muscles that are not firing the way that they are supposed to. Electrical stimulation is well-tolerated, and most patients do not experience any significant discomfort. During stimulation, a twitch and buzzing sensation is often felt. After treatment, the targeted area may feel a bit sore, as if it just had a workout.