Do you have pain with reaching overhead or behind your back? Do you feel achy pain on the outside of your arm while reaching? If so, you may have pain originating from the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are a group of four muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder and perform overhead, behind the back and out to the side movements. Overuse can lead to irritation and tears, which can be healed with physical therapy. If you think you may be experiencing this type of pain or any pain in the shoulder, come get it checked out!
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What is Functional Dry Needling?
We use an acupuncture needle, which does not contain any medication, to insert into the painful muscle in order to provide pain relief. All of our needles are sterile, one-time-use needles made from surgical grade metal.
How does it work?
It works on a few levels. It kick-starts the healing process to increase blood flow to the area and reset “trigger points” or hypersensitive areas in the muscle. It helps to retrain the pain center in the brain that controls the painful body part.
What does it feel like?
It varies patient to patient, but typically the patient does not feel the needle break the skin. Once inside the muscle, it feels like a cramping sensation. After the needle has been placed we use electrical stimulation to help reset the muscle and pain sensation, which feels like a comfortable tapping sensation. It feels like a workout soreness for usually 24 hours then pain relief is felt around 48 hours.
How long does it take before I feel pain relief?
Usually it takes 2-3 sessions before the patient feels significantly better. Sometimes it is sooner than 3 sessions, but on average 2-3. The pain relief can also be immediate, but usually felt around 48 hours following the session.
What are the side effects/risks?
Since there is no medication within the needles, there are very few risks and side effects. It is a great low risk option to tackle acute and chronic pain. Muscle soreness is the most common afterwards. Needles placed in the extremities are the lowest risk, as it is not near the lung field. Needles near/over the lung field are increased risk of a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) if the needle penetrates the field. Our clinicians are highly trained and experienced and have never had any adverse effects with their patients.
What if I am on any blood thinners?
The needles don’t usually cause any bleeding. Sometimes you may experience bruising at the site, but very rarely.
What if I am pregnant or had recent surgery?
We do not perform Functional Dry Needling if you are pregnant or have a current active infection. If you have had surgery within 6 weeks we stay away from the surgical site. If it’s been 12 weeks we can needle at the surgical site if we have clearance from your doctor.
Can I try Functional Dry Needling even if I am not being treated as a patient?
Yes! If you want to come in for a trial without being seen as an established patient we offer 20-30 minute sessions starting at $60 per session. Functional Dry Needling is always more effective in conjunction with Physical Therapy (manual therapy and exercise). If you are interested or have more questions, please call to speak with Dr. Jill, Dr. Bobbi or Dr. Heidi. We are happy to help and get you feeling better!