Dry needling and intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a skilled intervention provided by physical therapists that uses a very fine filiform needle to create a healing response within the tissue to help improve pain and movement dysfunction. This technique uses a “dry” needle, meaning no use of medication, that is inserted through the skin and into the tissue being treated.
Dry needling creates a local inflammatory response immediately that helps release neurochemicals and improve blood flow to assist with healing tissues. The use of IMS combined with dry needling creates a segmental and systemic effect that can grow benefits for up to three days following treatment.
This is helpful for patients with muscle/ligament strains, tight muscles, trigger points, pain, excessive swelling, arthritis, restricted scar tissue, and/or joint dysfunction. Dry needling is helpful to reduce pain and improve function; however, it should not be a stand alone treatment. It can play an important role in the recovery process, but a multi-faceted approach is used in all recovery.
Dry needling can be performed on the neck, upper back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, low back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet!