What is Functional Dry Needling/ IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)?
Dry Needling is a general term for a therapeutic treatment procedure that involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the area of the body which produces pain and typically contains a ‘Trigger Point’. There is no injectable solution and typically the needle which is used is very thin. Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it has and is advanced into the muscle, the feeling of discomfort can vary drastically from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of the needle; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject may feel a sensation like a muscle cramp — which is often referred to as a ‘twitch response’. The twitch response also has a biochemical characteristic to it which likely affects the reaction of the muscle, symptoms, and response of the tissue.
Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention, with very few side effects. This technique is powerful in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.
Will Functional Dry Needling help me?
After a Whole Body Assessment, thorough history taking and reviewing your goals, Dry Needling may be an option for treatment. It is never used alone but in conjunction with manual therapy, education, postural training and exercises. It is most successful when combined with other forms of treatment to better aid your recovery and to get you moving better and pain free. Muscles do not become tight and joints do not become inflamed for no reason. When we release those tight muscles through needling, massage or other manual therapy, it is very important that we retrain the body a more optimal pattern or way of moving (motor control) . Often times, this step is missed and people are at risk of getting re-injured again because they go back to their old patterns and old strategies.