What is Dry Needling and what is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 

 

WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING?

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Dry Needling is a treatment technique where thin filiform needles are inserted through the skin into pathological areas of the muscle known as "trigger points" for the purpose of relieving myofascial pain and muscle spasm. These are the same needles used in traditional acupuncture therapy, they are solid rather than hollow, and no medication is injected.

Dry needling is used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise.

When performing dry needling, there may be a "twitch response" where the specific band of muscle involuntarily contracts in response to insertion of the needle.  Beneficial effects can occur without elicitation of the twitch response.  Sometimes electrotherapy is also applied with the trigger point needling technique, this is referred to as electroacupuncture. If electroacupuncture is considered appropriate, small clips are attached to specific needling locations and a mild electrical current is applied. Electrical muscle stimulation aids in stimulating blood flow, reducing pain and relieving muscular spasm. 

In the State of California, the only providers who can legally perform these types of needling techniques are licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors. A licensed acupuncturist's education and training in needling techniques requires a Master's degree obtained after 3 years of education and training. 

Compared to Dry Needling, Acupuncture, when applied as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, uses acupuncture points on the surface of the body that are located along "meridians" that correspond with the internal organs and the energies associated with those organs. Traditional acupuncture techniques aim to relieve congestion of energy and blood, thereby restoring circulation and reducing symptoms associated with said qi (energy) stagnation. 

Newport Beach Chiropractor / Acupuncturist Treatment for Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis

With all the buzz surrounding Disney's Frozen, I thought it was an appropriate time to talk about Frozen Shoulder. 

Frozen shoulder can be described as a significant reduction in range of motion of the glenohumeral (ball and socket) joint of the shoulder complex, initially caused by inflammation.  As a result of this inflammation, the capsular ligaments that hold this joint together become stiff and develop adhesions which reduce the joint's active and passive range of motion.  Along with the tightness/stiffness there is pain at end range of motion. 

Frozen shoulder can be described as a significant reduction in range of motion of the glenohumeral (ball and socket) joint of the shoulder complex, initially caused by inflammation.  As a result of this inflammation, the capsular ligaments that hold this joint together become stiff and develop adhesions which reduce the joint's active and passive range of motion.  Along with the tightness/stiffness there is pain at end range of motion. 

 

For many, if left untreated, this painful condition can take many months and sometimes years to resolve. Typical medical approaches to treat frozen shoulder may include anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and/or physical therapy.  If none of these are successful surgery (arthroscopy) may be performed.

It is not fully understood what causes this condition, however studies suggest that women and individuals with Diabetes are more likely to develop adhesive capsulitis. 

Dr. Pierce has helped individuals with frozen shoulder through the combination of manual/physical therapy techniques to mobilize the shoulder joint and the surrounding soft tissues, acupuncture and exercise therapy.  Gains in range of motion have been observed as early as the first treatment. 

Dr. Pierce will examine your shoulder to determine if you do indeed have frozen shoulder.  If this is the case, range of motion measurements will be taken to determine your starting point. Using hands-on, gentle, safe mobilization techniques, tightened structures will gradually be released.  Dr. Pierce does not believe this part of the therapy should be painful, while some therapists will push the joint to the point of agony, she prefers to work slowly and encourage greater range of motion without pain.  Special acupunture points will then be used to aid in treatment, and your range of motion will be re-assessed. 

With treatment and exercise the duration of frozen shoulder can be greatly diminished. It is important to stick to your treatment plan for best results, but it is Dr. Pierce's goal to get you feeling and moving better as quickly and safely as possible. 

To schedule an appointment to fix your frozen shoulder CLICK HERE!