Accelerate Healing and Relieve Pain with Dry Needling Therapy in Denver
For those with an active lifestyle, like many of us in Denver, it is not uncommon to deal with soft tissue-related injuries like sprains and strains at some point. Hiking, skiing, rock climbing, and most of Colorado’s activities are hard on our bodies. Most of us will heal these injuries with time. However, these muscles remain contracted for some, turning discomfort into ongoing chronic pain.
At Prolotherapy of Denver, we believe in the body’s unique ability to heal itself. There’s nothing quite like dry needling therapy to get to the root of a problem and encourage healing while providing drug-free pain relief.
Dry needling involves inserting thin ‘dry’ needles through the skin and muscle tissue without injecting anything; hence the term ‘dry.’ Clinicians use the needles to locate and release trigger points or knots, which are often the result of strained or overused muscles.
How Does Dry Needling Work?
When muscles are contracted, they no longer receive the adequate blood supply, oxygen, and nutrients required for proper healing. Consequently, the nerves around the trigger point become more sensitive, irritating, and sore, leading to limited mobility.
Clinicians look for a local twitch response from the muscle to find these trigger points. When needles are inserted correctly, muscles react with a spasm, releasing the contraction.
Introducing a needle into a contracted muscle disrupts the body’s status quo by bringing fresh blood to the area and flushing out the toxins and stimuli that keep it contracted. The prick from the needle also stimulates the brain to release endorphins, creating a natural pain-killer in the body.
When tension is released from the muscle and pain relief floods in, muscle function and range of motion return, meaning that patients can take the steps towards rehabilitation more quickly.
Is Dry Needling Therapy Right for Me?
The magic of dry needling lies in its ability to stimulate the healing process of soft tissues like fascia, tendons, and ligaments and restore muscles to their healthy physiological function.
Dry needling is beneficial in targeting muscle and ligament strains, common injuries in active sports like football and basketball, and repetitive sports like golf and tennis. Dry needling can also help with:
- Tennis elbow
- Chronic back pain
- Knee pain
- Muscle spasms
- Plantar fasciitis
- Calf pain
Dry Needling or Acupuncture?
According to Dr. Scott Richardson, the most significant deciding factor between acupuncture and dry needling is how much time you have.
Like dry needling, acupuncture uses thin, dry needles inserted at specific points on the body. In acupuncture, however, these points are based on a network of lines called meridians. Developed over 2,500 years ago, these lines are now known to give clinicians favorable access to the nervous system, relieving pain and accelerating the healing process by helping the body move back into homeostasis.
Similar to dry needling, acupuncture encourages the release of ‘obstructions’ that keeps the muscle contracted. The main difference between acupuncture and dry needling is acupuncture’s connection to our overall nervous system and the aim of instilling balance back in the body.
During acupuncture sessions, patients relax and enjoy the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses that the needle placement provides. For this reason, the half-hour dry needling sessions may be more beneficial for those in a time crunch.
No matter what avenue you choose to begin your healing journey, relief is available. Dr. Scott Richardson has thousands of hours of experience in needle-based therapies and sports injuries. To learn how dry needling therapy can help you, give us a call or schedule an appointment today.