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Dry Needling

Consider dry needling if painful trigger points affect your mobility or quality of life. At Elite Chiropractic & Wellness in New Braunfels, Texas, experienced chiropractor Elisa Guillen, DC, and Marisa Sosa, DC use dry needling to release tight muscles, promote circulation, and encourage the body’s healing process. Call Elite Chiropractic & Wellness today to schedule a dry needling consultation, or book your appointment online!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is dry needling? 

Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure that relieves musculoskeletal pain and mobility problems.  During treatment, your Elite Chiropractic & Wellness provider inserts a series of sharp, thin needles into trigger points (tight knots of muscle). Piercing the trigger points relieves tension, increases blood flow, and relieves pain.

How does dry needling work?

Although the exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known, the technique has demonstrated both mechanical and biochemical effects. Pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health have shown that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical change that can assist in reducing chronic pain issues. Trigger points are known to have abnormal electrical activity and are surrounded by numerous chemicals known to cause inflammation. Research has shown that when a needle is successfully inserted into a trigger point and generates a local twitch response, over time, it can return the electrical and chemical environment within the muscle to its normal, relaxed state. Deactivated trigger points draw white blood cells and plasma cells into the area and create a healing response. Clinically, we see improved muscle length, strength, flexibility and a corresponding decrease in pain with our patients following dry needling treatment.

What types of problems can dry needling treat?

The Elite Chiropractic & Wellness team uses dry needling to treat various musculoskeletal problems, including:

  • TMJ Pain

  • Joint issues

  • Intervertebral disc issues

  • Migraine and tension headaches

  • Whiplash

  • Repetitive strain injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)

  • Spinal issues

  • Tendinitis

Can anyone undergo dry needling? 

Dry needling is safe and usually well-tolerated, but it isn’t for everyone. Elite Chiropractic & Wellness typically recommend treatment to patients 12 and older. Even though the needles are thin, the insertion process can be painful, especially for young children. Let your provider know if you’re pregnant or have a compromised immune system. If you take certain prescription medications, like blood thinners, alert the team to that information as well. 

Is dry needling similar to acupuncture?

Although they use the same thin filament needles, acupuncture and dry needling are two very different treatments. In contrast to most schools of acupuncture, dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research. Acupuncture is used to treat Traditional Chinese Medical diagnoses of visceral and systemic dysfunction, while dry needling is used to assess and treat myofascial pain. Dry needling relieves pain by inactivating trigger points within muscles. Acupuncture achieves pain relief through the release of endorphins and creating balance in the body’s energy levels. Through the release of cortisol, acupuncture can also have an antiinflammatory effect on the body. At PT Plus, our physical therapists are not licensed acupuncturists and do not practice acupuncture. Trigger Point Dry Needling and other physical therapy procedures are based on scientific neurophysiological and biomechanical principles.

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