Dry Needling (DN)

dry needling manual therapy modalityDry Needling (DN) is also known as Biomedical Dry Needling (BDN), Integrative Dry Needling (IDN), Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT), Integrative Systemic Dry Needling (ISDN)Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), trigger point needling, functional dry needling, and dry needling technique.

Dry Needling (DN) is used for the treatment of pain, disability and dysfunction. It is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, such as inflammation, microcirculation, edema, tendinitis, contractures, trigger points, tissue adhesions, and various other nueromusculoskeletal conditions.

A comprehensive examination and evaluation of the neuromusculoskeletal system allows our Doctors of Physical Therapy to identify a musculoskeletal diagnoses. This allows us do develop a comprehensive treatment strategy for each individual patient.

Dry Needling, combined with manual physical therapy treatment, can help the following conditions:

  • Acute and chronic tendinitis
  • Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Headaches and whiplash
  • Lower back pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • TMJ
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Many other nueromusculoskeletal conditions . . .

Dry Needling is just one modality used in conjunction with the variety of manual therapy techniques and prescriptive exercises, prescribed by our manual physical therapists to restore you to optimal physical function. Dry needling is only one component of a multidimensional treatment approach, geared at creating a successful outcome for you. As manual physical therapists, we address various nueromusculoskeletal conditions such as biomechanical muscle imbalances, postural dysfunctions, muscular flexibility limitations, strength deficits, swollen or stiff joints, and many other conditions. All of these conditions may require much more than just dry needling.

dry needling

Dry needling has its own theoretical concepts, terminology, and clinical application:

Comparing dry needling with acupuncture is pointless. The only similarity the two treatments have is that they both use monofilament needles. The actual placement, the reasons they’re placed and the training behind that reasoning come from different hemispheres of the globe and completely different histories with no overlap whatsoever.

Any easy distinction is that of the practitioners and their training. Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists have hours of training, while Western-trained Doctors of Physical Therapy have 7-8 years of undergraduate and post-graduate training total before obtaining the title of “Physical Therapist”, and additional training in manual therapy and dry needling to become Manual Therapists. We treat primarily nueromusculoskeletal conditions, where a Chinese medicine practitioner works on balancing whole body systems.

The dry needling technique is a modern, Western medical modality that is not based on traditional Chinese acupuncture. The purpose of dry needling is not to alter the flow of Qi or energy along traditional Chinese meridians.

Dry needling is based on a modern comprehensive understanding of human neuromusculoskeletal anatomy, patho-physiology and pain models. Scientific research has produced evidence-based support found in medical literature for the use of dry needling in the treatment of conditions related to nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints.

As Physical Therapists:

  • We do not claim to practice acupuncture, and it would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of dry needling as an “acupuncturist” since dry needling practitioners do not use traditional chinese medicine concepts (TCM).
  • We do not use acupuncture theories, meridian acupoints, and terminology.
  • We do not use ancient meridian systems, such as Qi (Chi) or energy channels.
  • We do not use acupuncture diagnostic techniques like tongue and pulse assessments.

Is dry needling within the scope of practice of a Physical Therapist?

The Manual Therapists at One Accord who perform dry needling have been through various training courses in dry needling, and carry dual credentials. We always put patient safety first. Our certifications are through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy, in addition to the American Dry Needling Institute. We have a thorough understanding of the scientific literature; we are involved in ongoing research; and we practice evidence-based medicine.

What is the cost of dry needling?

The cost of dry needling is dependent on whether we are seeing you as physical therapy patient or if we are seeing you for dry needling only:

Dry Needling Only Patients:

Initial Evaluation and Treatment: $85
Follow-up treatments: $30 – $60

Physical Therapy plus Dry Needling:

Requires a prescription from your physician for physical therapy with a diagnosis (for example: low back pain). It is also dependent upon us getting approval from your insurance company for physical therapy treatment.

Initial Evaluation and Treatment: $0 – $20* (Depending on your insurance coverage)
Follow-up treatments: $0 – $20* (Depending on your insurance coverage)

*$20.00 covers the cost of the dry needling treatment only, and there may be additional costs depending on your individual deductibles and co-pays. This is based on physical therapy benefits covered in your specific insurance coverage. (In the current economy, we understand the financial stresses that can be incurred by many people, and we have various individualized payment options for those that may need it. Don’t let money keep you from recovery.)

Schedule an appointment with a Manual Therapist at One Accord today to determine if dry needling can be used to help you achieve your health goals.