Dry Needling

Applications of Dry Needling

Unlike acupuncture, which seems to treat everything under the sun from fertility issues to anxiety. Dry Needling is very particular in its applications. The main application is to treat trigger points. A trigger point is described as a particular point being nodular or taut and being irritable, especially with pressure.  Pain is usually the central component of a myofascial trigger point and create referred pa. in, numbness, tingling, or all of the above. The trigger point can cause severe problems, enough for a person to go to the emergency room. If your lucky, you’ll find yourself in a chiropractic clinic that offers Dry Needling, as I’ve found it to be one of the most effect tools to help get rid of trigger points. This also begs the question of how does dry needling work?

When applied, the technique is very quick and to the point. The chiropractor will initially complete a thorough exam that includes an assessment of your biomechanics (how well your joints move), common orthopedic tests, neurological tests, consultation of your past and present medical history, and a soft tissue exam. Your chiropractor should explain what he/she found and detail a  plan of how to get you better. This typically involves a multi-modal approach. That is using a combination of manual therapies, such as chiropractic adjustments, active release techniques, graston technique, cold laser therapy, massage, and Dry Needling.

Once you and your chiropractor agree that this technique is of benefit to your recovery, you will have to expose the area that will be dry needled. As a chiropractor in Denver, I mostly treat neck and back pain. The vast majority of these patients get dry needling in the hips and the shoulder area, which helps take tension off of the spine. Once the skin is exposed, the area is cleaned with alcohol, and the practitioner with gloved hands palpates for the trigger point. The needle is inserted into the trigger point and then piston like action is performed with the needle to elicit the latent twitch response. The twitch response is important as this is releasing the trigger point. The needle is withdrawn after 10-20 seconds and the process starts over with needling satellite trigger points. Patients often ask how does Dry Needling work?

How Does Dry Dry Needling Work?

The most commonly accepted theory revolves around the motor end plate of the motor neuron unit. This is the junction where the nerve that has exited the spine has attached to the muscle. This junction is dysfunctional and with trigger points, is an area of increased inflammation, and excitation. The synapse, the area where the nerve attaches, secretes a chemical to help contract the muscle.  It is this process that becomes dysfunctional, and in a way, is left on to continuously stimulate the muscle to contract, and thus a trigger point is formed. The metal needle interferes with this motor unit. The nervous system work off of electrical impulses and thus the metal needle shorts this processes and helps to reset a motor neuron unit. It is similar to sticking a piece of metal into an electrical outlet that shorts out the system.

Dry Needling in Denver is typically performed by a chiropractor or a physical therapist. It can be very effective to help reduce tension and deactivate trigger points. Excessive tension is the hallmark of most musculoskeletal problems, and thus reducing tension can help restore function to a problematic or painful area.

Author: Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

 

Treating the body can be like a master painter using canvas and paint. It demands mastery of fundamentals, yet the addition of the creative. The chiropractor is placed in a similar position, working with the body demands great scientific knowledge about the body, but adding the creative and artful flair is where the healing takes place. Masterly blending treatment concepts at times may help bolster treatment outcomes. Such is the case with Active Release Technique and Dry Needling.

This is one of my favorite pairings when it comes to making the body perform better. One course of single type of therapy is rarely applied as combining different therapies help complement the work of the other. This is similar to applying heat before one does massage, Active Release Technique and Dry Needling are also complimentary to treating the body.

Most issues that present to the chiropractic office are rooted in movement dysfunction patterns coupled with poor nutrition . This is seen as static postures or repetitive overuse postures. It boils down to moving the same way too much, or not moving enough. Both of these scenarios create local changes in the muscle and the surrounding fascia.

When a muscle is constantly required to contract, especially for long period’s time, the motor neuron unit becomes dysfunctional. The motor neuron unit is where the nerve attaches to the muscle and is primarily responsible for having the muscle undergo cycles of contraction and relaxation. The motor neuron unit becomes dysfunctional and starts to overly secrete its chemicals. A biochemical mess ensues that disturbs the pH balance and increases the inflammatory mediators. This creates the need for trigger point therapy.

This situation creates a dysfunctional motor neuron unit and a trigger point. The trigger point is the taught and tender band like portion of the muscle that causes local and referred pain. As a Denver chiropractor, trigger points are always a co-conspirator with spine related problems. The primary trigger point disrupts the region, which creates other areas that ends up having to compensate and work harder, which thus starts a cycle of creating more trigger points. Sustained trigger points will then alter the tissues framework, creating scar tissue.

Scar tissue shows as leathery type tissue that has little to no give or pliability. So, now you have two problems, and two solutions. Active Release Technique aids in ridding the area of scar tissue, and Dry Needling helps reestablish the motor neuron unit to work correctly and deactivate the trigger points.

In summary, the vast majority of problems that the chiropractor sees is based in movement dysfunction patterns that create scar tissue and trigger points. I received my Dry Needling in Denver training from Kinetacore, a very reputable company and professional company that emphasizes patient safety and thoroughness.

Author: Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC, ART

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

dry needling for back pain

Who would have thought that sticking a person with a bunch of needles could actually help a person. I would have never guessed. It turns out that the Native Americans were using porcupine quills for needling, and the eastern cultures practicing needling for thousands of years. Although we still use needles for healing purposes, we have refined our techniques in parallel to western medicine philosophies. As a Denver chiropractor, I routinely utilize the monofilament needle in a technique known as Dry Needling to treat back pain.

Many ask, what is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? It turns out, there is a big difference, and just because the same tool is used, it does not mean you are doing the same type of treatment. Acupuncture and Dry Needling for back pain treatment will vary. Goto an acupuncturist and goto to a chiropractor or physical therapist who does Dry Needling for back pain and you will get two very different types of treatment. I have found that Dry Needling is an excellent way to treat back pain.

As you see in the picture, there are quite a few needles in this particular patient. This specific example of Dry Needling for back pain was successful in helping the patient overcome mid back pain caused from a car accident in Denver. We were performing the usual chiropractic adjustments, active release technique, flexion-distraction therapy, electrotherapy, moist heat, and core strengthening exercises which all helped, but we came to a standstill in progress. Is was not until we performed Dry Needling for back pain that we were able to break the plateau in progress to aldry needling in denverlow full healing.

It is quite interesting how the procedure affects the body. Specifically for back pain, the goal of Dry Needling is to affect the Multifidi muscles. They are the deepest layer of muscles in the back and responsible for proprioception and stabilization. When an injury occurs to the back these muscle become inhibited and can become fatty due to disuse. This disuse can cause excessive shear forces in the spine, putting undue strain on the discs and joints in the back. This added pressure will create further injury if not treated appropriately. Inserting a needle into these muscles is kind of like putting a screw driver into a circuit breaker, similar to shorting the system. It is akin to a computer rebooting.

The reboot allows the multifidi to work like they are supposed to, which is to activate before any of the other musculature on the back activate. The multifid fires 40 milliseconds before all other muscles fire,which is important for stabilization of the back. Learn more about the Multifidi muscles. I will also add electrostimulation to the needles in the multifidi to add stimulation and to sort of, wake them up, type stimuli. People with disc herniations, facet syndromes, stenosis, spondylosis, and various sprains and strains can all benefit from Dry Needling for a back pain.

If you would like a consult or have a question, please contact our office in the Denver Highlands area, close to LoHi.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

 

 

Physical therapists and Chiropractors who perform Dry Needling do not perform acupuncture. The training is quite different although it uses the same tool, the monofilament needle. All three professions get extensive training in anatomy, physiology, and neurology but the way the needle is used is different.

An acupuncturist determines where to needle based on tongue evaluation, pulse characteristics, patient complaints, and the knowledge of meridians. It is based on Eastern medical diagnosis where Dry Needling is based on Western medical diagnosis. An acupuncturist may incorporate other therapies such as herbal remedies, gua sha, or moxibustion to rebalance the chi or life force of the body.

A chiropractor who performs Dry Needling will utilize standard Western diagnosis also incorporating the Selective Function Movement Assessment, and palpation to determine the areas to apply the needle. When a chiropractor performs Dry Needling, it is based on trigger point therapy, which is a Western term describing the taught band of muscles explored by Janet Travell MD.

The tool is the same, the monofilament needle, but the application is entirely different. It is not an acupuncture needle; it is a filiform needle that may be used in acupuncture and Dry Needling.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO80211

303-455-2225

Man has become quite ingenious when it comes to finding different cures for the human body, but not ideas survive the testament of time. Native Americans discovered that using porcupine quills inserted into the body achieved healing effects. Although it conjures up crude and painful visions of a human pincushion, today’s version is quite different. Dry Needling has become the new fad on the block with mostly physical therapists, chiropractors, and of course acupuncturists utilizing this technique and is achieving unprecedented results across the board of human ailments.

As a Denver chiropractor, I recently went through the certification process to Dry Needle so I could achieve these same results with my patients. I was very surprised how effective the needling technique was with my own issues. I had developed a semi sort of a bum shoulder, a tendonitis that developed from holding my young kids for hours on end. My shoulder didn’t want to work quite right, it would make noise, cause pain with certain movements, and worst of all, gave me a shuddering feeling of vulnerability.

I had been suffering my condition for several months, and like most doctors, you don’t address it, because you’re to busy fixing other peoples issues. I was worried about the shoulder terribly, in due part because as a chiropractor you heavily rely on good working shoulder. When it came time in our class to discuss and practice the techniques for the shoulder, I eagerly volunteered myself as the demo.

With Dry Needling, you always do a before and after check of the region that is causing your problems. We utilized the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) and had found decreased internal rotation that also caused pain with my left shoulder. The instructor then palpated the area and had found some very nasty trigger points in my anterior deltoid, infraspinatus, and teres minor muscles.

The needling was quick and concise, and also consisted of utilizing an electrotherapy machine on the needles to help reset the normal resting muscle tone from its prior hypertonic state. After the procedure, we rechecked the shoulder with the SFMA and had found increased range of motion, and an improvement in pain quality.

The shoulder wasn’t completely fixed at that time, but it sure did feel much better. I thought that I may needed more treatment in the coming days to help completely rid the problem, but low and behold the issue cleared itself within the week.

I’m excited to offer this new technique at Denver Chiropractic, LLC and will be posting more about the technique soon. Please visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer,  and the Dry Needling in Denver. You can also learn more about Dry Needling at the wikipedi page.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

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