Dry needling has been around for decades in the United States and used by various professionals, including physical therapists. Around the world, these techniques have been utilized for much longer and have scientific research to substantiate their effectiveness as a treatment method for pain control and restoring muscle function. After a decade-long battle with the state of Florida by our founder Dr. Wade Rinehart and fellow colleague, Dr. Rob Stanborough, dry needling was approved in 2020 to be utilized by credentialed and trained Doctors of Physical Therapy.
Dry needling is the penetration of soft tissue trigger points with a thin needle that elicits a twitch response. Trigger points (TRPs) are caused by a cascade of things that ultimately causes pain by starving the muscle of oxygen and necessary nutrients. This leads to impaired muscle function, preventing it from contracting/relaxing properly, which in turn creates poor movement patterns, loss of motion, or even weakness. The presence of TRP’s can place more stress on other surrounding muscles as they pick up the slack of the impaired muscle, leading to TRPs becoming present in these muscles as well. Additionally, due to the poor muscle function, surrounding muscles working together to perform coupled movements fall short of stabilizing our joints throughout the activity, leading to joint pain.
Dry needling is also proven effective for treating chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and fibromyalgia. These diseases are associated with chronic pain and are often unexplained. It is common to have multiple points of pain in many regions of the muscles and joints in these diseases. Our bodies detect taste, smell, hot, cold, and pain via the central nervous system (CNS) via the spinal cord. With fibromyalgia and CRPS, this pathway can become flooded with input from pain from various parts of the body. Normal signals like a sheet brushing up against your foot are perceived as pain. The cause of this pain is often associated with the presence of TRPs. Just as nerves can cause pain in other body regions, TRPs can have the same effect. For example, TRPs in the upper trapezius muscle can cause headaches and shoulder pain. TRPs in the cervical spine musculature can cause headaches and decreased range of motion in the neck.
At First Choice Physical Therapy, we have the ONLY expertly trained doctors of physical therapy in the Panhandle. These techniques have been vetted and proven repeatedly to be very effective and completely safe for treating the above conditions. If you suffer from CRPS, fibromyalgia, headaches, muscle aches/pains, or joint pain, let our doctors identify the root cause of your problem to help improve your quality of life. We now have three clinics to serve you- Lynn Haven/Panama City, Callaway, and Panama City Beach. Call now 850-248-1600 and let us help you today!