While some people seek out the services offered in a chiropractic clinic as a preventive measure, others are coming for pain relief or are interested in regaining range of motion. The most common reasons people come to us are for lower back pain treatments and neck pain relief. There are many options chiropractic medicine has to treat those seeking help, including cold laser therapy, ultrasound treatments, and chiropractic adjustments.

One of the newest services we offer to reduce pain and increase range of motion is dry needling. While it might sound scary at first, don’t let the name dissuade you from considering this amazing treatment.

What Is Dry Needling, and Does It Hurt?

Dry needling, sometimes called myofascial trigger point dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS), has been a pain treatment for more than 70 years. The dry part of the names means that, while needles are used, there is no “wet” solution of medicine injected.

Dry needling uses needles in order to stimulate myofascial trigger points. A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscles that is found within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch, or they can prevent range of motion in a body part. That’s because the muscles have contracted in order to prevent further injury to a particular part of the body. When that happens, circulation is reduced and the muscles aren’t getting the oxygen and nutrients they usually require.

Very thin needles are inserted into the skin in order to get to the muscles in question so that a local twitch response (LTR) can be elicited. The LTR is a good sign, because it means that the body will activate the immune system and send healing nutrients to that part of the body. This process might sound painful, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. As with most forms of therapy, it may be uncomfortable but the benefits outweigh the costs.

Is Dry Needling Different From Acupuncture?

This is perhaps the most common question regarding dry needling. While dry needling might at first look like acupuncture, there are several distinct differences. Yes, they both use needles, but the differences are considerable.

Acupuncture is a much more mystical pursuit, an ancient Chinese medicine that employs the meridians of the body in order to increase the flow of qi (sometimes spelled ch’i) throughout the body. Dry needling is steeped in Western medicine, namely neurophysiology and anatomy, to elicit responses in muscles that lead to healing. Dry needling has given thousands of people relief in chiropractic offices across the country.

Contact Flex Chiropractic

Is dry needling right for you? That’s for you and the professionals at our chiropractic clinic to decide. We have many options to treat pain and range of motion issues, and it might turn out that dry needling is the best plan of action for you.

The best way to find out if this form of treatment is right for you is to make an appointment at our

Columbia office and speak with a chiropractor. We look forward to helping you!