Here at IP, dry needling is a frequently utilized treatment that contributes to a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan. There are some great benefits to dry needling that include, but are not limited to, quick pain relief, improving range of motion, achieving a quicker path to recovery and more! Dry needling is also called trigger point dry needling or myofascial trigger point dry needling. The word “myofascial” is made up of the roots “myo” (which refers to muscle) and “fascia” (which refers to the tissue that connects muscle).
Injections into the myofascial trigger points were first proposed by medical doctors Janet Travell and David Simons in the early 1940’s. Travell discovered that certain nerves and neural hyperactivity were linked to pain in tender parts of the muscle and fascia. She and Dr. Simon carefully identified most of the trigger points located in the human body. They injected various substances including corticosteroids, painkillers, saline, etc. into the trigger points. That was the beginning of how modern dry needling was established. Dr. Travell was well respected and actually became President John F. Kennedy’s White House physician!
Seeing how the process originally used liquid to treat the trigger points, it’s a wonder why the procedure itself would be coined as “dry” needling. However, after Dr. Travell’s initial discovery, a study done by a Czech physician, Dr. Karel Lewit, found that the needling is what made the treatments effective, far more than the substances that were injected into the muscles. Further research proved that dry needling is more effective and not as invasive as “wet” needling, though it was only in 1976 when the procedure became a recognized practice in the healthcare industry. It was Dr. Chan Gunn who further developed the concept of dry needling. He researched the technique of Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). IMS is a technique for the treatment of myofascial pain based on a comprehensive diagnostic that identifies the cause of the pain due to disease or dysfunction in the nervous system. It specifically identifies the nerve root as the generator of the anatomy, so it is referred to as a radiculo-neuropathic model.
Muscles can develop knotted areas called trigger points. These trigger points are very sensitive and can be painful when touched. Our PTs will insert needles through the skin into trigger points. Those needles are used as a reset for the golgi tendon organ (GTO) to stimulate the tissue, not to inject medication.
Pain affects how your body moves. Dry needling changes the way the brain and muscles talk to each other to help your system return to normal function.
You may experience different sensations when being needled. Muscle soreness, aching and an elicited muscle twitch when a needle is inserted are considered good signs of effective needling. The needles may be placed deeply, for various amounts of time, depending on what type of pain is being treated and pathology. Shorter periods of time would mean that the needle would stay in the muscle for seconds, while longer periods could mean 10 to 15 minutes.
Now you have a basis of where dry needling comes from and why we use it. Never hesitate to ask us more, we are all happy to explain why we love dry needling!
The Science Behind Being a Human Pin CushionJennifer Valerio2022-10-11T17:07:14+00:00
Overwhelmingly, studies show that regular exercise boosts your immune system. The somewhat obvious caveat to this is that you must not overtrain or injure yourself in the process…this would lead to a major decrease in your immunity. In comes physical therapy to save the day!
Did you know physical therapists do way more than just address acute and chronic injuries? They prescribe series of movements and exercises that will protect and enhance your overall physical functionality (our therapists do this in a very specific way). These series of targeted exercises can help boost your immune system in ways regular exercise does not. One example of this, is that some exercises can be prescribed can help flush bacteria out of lungs and airways which reduce the likelihood of getting sick with a virus (Virvick & Zieve, 2020).
Another great example of how physical therapy can strengthen your immune system, is by improving the quality and amount of sleep you are getting. If you are one of the 60 million Americans that has sleep related problems, physical therapy can help reduce the underlying pain or discomfort that prevents you from great, uninterrupted sleep. Through expert evaluation and analysis, our team can work directly with you to resolve those underlying ailments and get your resting easy again!
Finally, physical therapy can reduce stress related hormones that suppress the immune system. Physical therapy can reduce these stress hormones in a number of ways. One way is the indirect benefit of being pain free. Pain is a leading cause of stress; physical therapy can help reduce pain which will directly reduce stress levels. Similarly, studies have shown that elevated levels of anxiety can negatively affect systemic systems in the body and ultimately lower your ability to fight disease (Otto et al., 2007). Physical Therapy can target and improve the performance of these systems to keep your body functioning and healthy. Staying healthy is more important than ever, especially now!! Contact your I.P. team with any questions or to see how we can help you start boosting your immune system today!
Otto, M. W., Church, T. S., Craft, L. L., Greer, T. L., Smits, J. A., & Trivedi, M. H. (2007). Exercise for mood and anxiety disorders. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 9(4), 287–294. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v09n0406
The days are getting shorter, the air is crisp and cool (and kind of gloomy)…We’ve been hearing consistently across our patient groups that the motivation to move is down and the craving for comfort foods are up. Did you know that physical activity levels decline significantly in the winter months? This seasonal decline in activity is connected to higher blood pressure, increased body fat and many other health related problems (Shepard & Aoyagi, 2009). The color changes this fall sure have been exceptionally beautiful, but your I.P. team wants to help keep you moving as we transition into winter months!
We know as the weather cools down and days get shorter it gets increasingly difficult to exercise – especially before the opportunities for winter activities begin. Keeping up with exercise and eating nutritious meals are ways to combat the season change in activity and boost your energy levels. Your I.P. Team wants to give you some tips to keep the body, mind and spirit hardy as we head into hibernation season!
Exercise of the Month – Bear Crawl [into hibernation]
Getting outside to exercise may not be as much of an option in the fall and winter for many people. Dr. John and Dr. Lindsey recommend a simple exercise that you can do at home in any open space to stave off the seasonal slump. Try adding this Slider Bear Crawl for 8-10 reps for 2-3 sets to keep your low back stable and your core strong! From this 4-point position, slide feet back to a plank position and return to starting. For more simple exercises you can do at home or modifications, don’t forget to ask Dr. John, Dr. Lindsey or Jen when you come in for your appointment.
Tag us on social media when trying these exercises out!
We can’t talk about staying healthy through seasonal changes outside of our control, without talking about mental health. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) effects 5-10% of the U.S. population. If you’re feeling the winter blues, you’re not alone! Some ideas to help lift your spirits:
Get outside when you can for some Vitamin D
Stay in touch with friends and family
Join a group activity, take a class with a friend
Stay safe and stay warm!
Shephard, R. J., & Aoyagi, Y. (2009). Seasonal variations in physical activity and implications for human health. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 107(3), 251–271. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-009-1127-1