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Dry Needling

Pain, Spine, & Rehab Associates

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine Specialists located in Gaithersburg, MD

If you have tense, knotted muscles that cause local and radiating pain, you may benefit from dry needling. At Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the team of pain management and physical medicine specialists use dry needling to release tight, painful knots in your muscles known as trigger points. If muscle pain is interfering with your life, call Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Dry Needling Q & A

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a knot or point of spasm in your muscles. They’re common around injuries and in your back and shoulder. Trigger points are painful and aggressive. They not only cause localized pain, but the distortion of your muscle causes tension and may “trigger” pain in other areas.

For example, if you spend all day working at a desk, typing and using a mouse, chances are you have a trigger point behind in your upper back or neck area. While that trigger point causes pain, it also may pull on the muscles leading to your neck and the base of your skull, which can cause neck pain and headaches. 

What is the difference between dry needling and a trigger point injection?

A trigger point injection delivers a mix of a local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory medicine directly into the knots in your muscles. The medicine numbs your pain and reduces inflammation, which can help the knot to relax and release. 

Dry needling is similar to trigger point injections, but instead of using needles to inject medication into the body your provider inserts thin, sterile needles into painful muscles to relieve the spasm causing the knot. As the knot releases, your pain subsides, and your flexibility and range of motion improve.  

Dry needling is a drug-free treatment that restores the function of your muscles, fascia, and connective tissue. 

What happens during a trigger point injection or dry needling?

During your appointment, you sit or lie on a treatment table. Your provider feels your muscles, massaging gently to locate your trigger points. Then, using a small needle, they can perform the procedure. 

Trigger point injections and dry needling are office-based outpatient procedures. You won’t require any anesthesia, and you don’t need to take any time out from your regular responsibilities to recover. 

Trigger point injections or dry needling are usually combined with other treatments such as:

  • Massage
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle relaxants

You may need a series of treatments as well as other therapies to completely get rid of your trigger points and adjust your posture and behaviors to prevent them from coming back. 

What conditions improve with trigger point injections and dry needling?

The team at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates may make dry needling or trigger point injections part of your treatment plan for a comprehensive range of painful issues, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle strains and sprains

When combined with other treatments, dry needling/trigger point injections can help you get back to your regular activities and lead a pain-free, fulfilling life. 

What should I expect after my procedure?

Your provider gives you specific instructions on what to do after your injection. While you can return to your regular activities right away, you should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24-48 hours following your treatment. Your provider may recommend some light stretching to continue to relax your muscles. 

If you live with muscle pain and tension that’s interfering with your quality of life, call Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates or schedule a consultation online today for customized pain management and physical medicine services.