Is Dry Needling the Missing Piece in Your Chronic Pain Treatment?


If you suffer from chronic muscle tightness and pain, your chiropractor may recommend dry needling as part of your treatment plan. This technique uses thin filament needles to target trigger points and release muscular tension. But is dry needling a service all chiropractors offer?

While some chiropractors are extensively trained in dry needling, others do not provide it. Let's look at what dry needling involves, its effectiveness, training and certification requirements, and how to find chiropractors offering dry needling in the Denver area.

What is Dry Needling Exactly?

Dry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation or trigger point dry needling, involves inserting thin monofilament needles directly into tight knots within muscle tissue, known as trigger points. This causes the trigger points to release, deactivating pain patterns.

Several benefits of dry needling include:

  • Decreased muscle tension, spasms, and stiffness
  • Reduced pain in the muscle and associated referral zones
  • Improved range of motion
  • Enhanced circulation and faster healing

Common treatment areas include the shoulders, neck, back, hips, hamstrings, calves, and more. Patients often feel an immediate release of tightness and pain after the first session.

Conditions Effectively Treated With Dry Needling

Chiropractors who provide dry needling use it to treat various chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as:

  • neck and back pain
  • headaches and migraines
  • tendonitis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • tennis/golfer's elbow
  • pelvic pain
  • shin splints

It can also aid recovery from muscle strains and sprains. Dry needling works for issues involving excessive muscle tension, knotting, spasms, cramps, adhesion, and scar tissue.

Your chiropractor may use dry needling therapy alone or alongside treatments like spinal adjustments, massage, and physical therapy based on your health needs.

Proper Training and Certification Is Critical

It takes extensive post-graduate training to safely and effectively perform dry needling. Your chiropractor should have a certification from a reputable dry needling education program.

Look for chiropractors who have completed at least 50 hours of in-person instruction in dry needling therapy. Training includes:

  • Trigger point assessment protocols
  • Contraindications and precautions
  • Needle insertion and manipulation techniques
  • Safety procedures
  • Handling of adverse events
  • Practical hands-on courses

Programs may lead to Certified in Dry Needling (CDN) or Certified Trigger Point Therapist (CTTP) certifications after passing board exams.

State Regulations for Chiropractors Using Dry Needling

In most states chiropractors can legally practice dry needing with proper training. However, some states prohibit dry needling by chiropractors or require an additional license.

For example, in Colorado chiropractors must earn Diplomate accreditation in dry needling from the American Chiropractic Academy of Neurology or a similar advanced certification program. States also mandate minimum hours of training.

Make sure any chiropractor using dry needling has fulfilled the requirements for your particular state.

Benefits of Chiropractors Incorporating Dry Needling

Seeing a chiropractor experienced with dry needling offers several advantages:

  • Dry needling perfectly complements spinal adjustments and manipulations.
  • Chiropractors have advanced knowledge of musculoskeletal system functioning.
  • Chiropractors are well trained in safety protocols and contraindications.
  • You can receive an integrated treatment plan in one office.
  • Chiropractors focus on overall wellness and functional restoration.

Just be certain your chiropractor has documented specialized certification and training in dry needling therapy.

What to Expect During Dry Needling Treatments

The first dry needling session starts with an exam to identify trigger points. Your chiropractor will then insert a thin, sterile needle into the trigger points. The needling technique used depends on the location and condition being treated.

You may feel a muscle twitch when the needle hits the trigger point. The needles remain in place briefly before removal. Your chiropractor may also apply gentle pressure or manipulate the needles.

The procedure takes about 30 minutes with most patients reporting significant pain relief after the first session. Soreness may occur for a day or two afterwards. Multiple sessions are usually needed for sustained results.

Benefits of Dry Needling for Chronic Back and Neck Pain

Dry needling is highly effective at treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions affecting the back and neck such as:

  • Low back pain - Needles release tight muscles like the lumbar multifidus, latissimus dorsi, quadratus lumborum, and piriformis which commonly contribute to low back issues.
  • Disk herniations - Needling the muscles around the affected disk reduces spasms allowing the disk to heal.
  • Sciatica - Dry needling deactivates trigger points pressing on the sciatic nerve.
  • Neck pain - Needling neck flexors, SCM, levator scapulae, and scalenes alleviates neck tension.
  • Whiplash - Trigger points develop after whiplash causing lingering neck stiffness, headaches, and pain. Dry needling restores mobility.

For back and neck pain involving muscle dysfunction, dry needling can provide lasting relief by restoring muscular function.

Finding Denver Chiropractors Offering Dry Needling Therapy

If you want to try dry needling for chronic neck, back, or other muscle pain issues, look for Denver chiropractors like Dr. Wood at Uptown Denver Chiropractor who list dry needling among their treatment methods.

Ask about their specific dry needling training, certification, and experience. Also confirm the chiropractor meets any special state regulations for the practice.

Schedule a consultation to learn more about how dry needling could help resolve your condition when combined with other chiropractic therapies. Regaining freedom of movement and living pain-free is possible with this effective approach offered by progressive chiropractors.

Experience the Pain Relief of Dry Needling at Uptown Denver Chiropractor

Dr. Wood at Uptown Denver Chiropractor provides advanced dry needling therapy along with customized chiropractic care. His goal is to correct the root causes of neuromusculoskeletal pain, not just treat symptoms.

Dr. Wood pursued intensive post-graduate training to become certified in dry needling therapy. His certification ensures he provides this service safely, skillfully, and in compliance with Colorado regulations.

If you're tired of living with chronic back, neck, or muscle pain, contact Uptown Denver Chiropractor today about adding dry needling to your treatment plan. Start feeling better fast with this targeted approach that works hand-in-hand with chiropractic adjustment and massage techniques.

You deserve full mobility and freedom from nagging pain. Let Dr. Wood's dry needling therapy help you achieve it!

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