Dry needling is a highly effective skilled treatment involving a very thin filament needle that is inserted into the skin and deeper tissue with the goal of reducing pain, increasing circulation and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

Although the treatments look very similar, dry needling is not acupuncture. It is based on neuroanatomy and western medical principles rather than traditional Chinese medicine. The treatment is often times virtually painless; however, a local twitch response of the muscle can occur, which presents as a brief sensation of cramping, ache or mild electric shock.

This response is actually correlated with greater therapeutic benefit. Electrical stimulation can also be connected to the needles to further reduce tissue tension and pain by creating a comfortable rhythmic vibration through the tissue. Dry needling can help treat a variety of conditions including, but not limited to:

• Neck, back, and shoulder muscle tension and pain

• Arm pain (tennis/golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel)

• Headaches and jaw pain

• Buttock and leg pain (muscle strains, sciatica, calf muscle tightness and cramping)

If you have any questions regarding dry needling or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Sanford Wahpeton therapy department at (701) 642-7047.

Mandy Naumann is a physical therapist with Sanford Health.

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