Can Dry Needling Help Tendonitis?
Your physical therapist has recently introduced you to dry needling, an effective treatment that can reduce pain and build muscle strength. Dry needling is a technique in which an extremely fine needle is inserted into trigger points on your muscles, causing chronic pain, inflammation and faster soft tissue healing. This procedure has proven successful at relieving chronic discomfort, decreasing inflammation and speeding up tissue repair.
What is a tendon?
Tendons are strong cords connecting muscles to bone, enabling them to bend and move. They can be found not only in the head and neck but also the shoulder, arm, leg, and foot.
Tendons are fibrous tissues composed of collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body. By bundling these fibers together, tendons become stronger and more flexible.
Collagen fibres are composed of multiple polypeptide chains that come together to form dense helical strands or fibrils. These strands spiral inside tendon fascicles for strength and structure.
Tendon fibres boast the highest tensile strength of any soft tissue due to their hierarchical structure and parallel orientation. This property can be attributed largely to a low molecular weight dermatan sulfate peptide (PG) component.
Tendons possess a vascular system that supplies blood to the area surrounding the tendon. Furthermore, these spaces contain an HA-rich lubricant which helps reduce friction between the tendon and other structures nearby.
Trigger points are pressure-sensitive areas in muscles that can cause discomfort, stiffness and inflammation. They often develop in the neck, shoulders, arms, legs or low back.
These painful knots form when your muscles become tight and irritated due to overuse, trauma or repetitive microtrauma. They restrict blood flow and increase acidic tissue, leading to intense pain and discomfort.
Your doctor can diagnose tendonitis by physically inspecting you and asking questions about how the injury occurred. They’ll also look for tenderness, swelling, redness, and muscle weakness near the sore tendon.
Your doctor may suggest physical therapy or dry needling as a way to alleviate your discomfort. Dry needling is a noninvasive treatment that uses a fine needle to loosen trigger points and restore normal blood flow to the affected area.
How is dry needling done?
Dry needling is a therapeutic technique that utilizes a fine needle to release muscle tension, reduce tendonitis and inflammation, and promote healing in your body. It works by stimulating micro tears in tissue which prompts your natural defenses to take action by bringing nutrient-rich blood to the affected area and speeding up repair processes.
Physical therapists commonly utilize dry needling when treating myofascial trigger points, which are knots in muscles that can cause pain, decreased flexibility and impaired muscle function.
Physical therapists insert needles through your skin into muscles to cause a mild reaction that provides temporary comfort. This can facilitate other aspects of treatment such as joint mobilizations and stretching, helping you make progress faster towards healing.
Before your session, it is recommended that you wear loose clothing that allows the therapist easy access to your muscles. You may also require a covering such as a gown or towel.
What are the benefits of dry needling?
Dry needling can effectively treat muscle and ligament pain and injury conditions. Additionally, it helps relieve chronic discomfort caused by myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Sports injuries or surgeries often benefit from massage therapy. Not only does it reduce inflammation, dissipate inflammatory mediators, and stimulate natural pain-relieving chemicals in your body, but it may also speed up recovery time for these ailments.
Physical therapy and this treatment work together to treat tendonitis. By adding it into your regimen, you can help speed up healing time and get back to doing what you enjoy most.
Inserting a needle into a trigger point relaxes muscles and increases blood flow. This improved circulation helps carry away painful acidic wastes while providing your muscles with oxygen and nutrients to repair themselves.
Treatment involves inserting needles at precise points on the body to break up muscle knots and trigger points, often leading to twitching as an indication that the therapy is working.
If you’re interested in learning more about dry needling and other physical therapy treatments, visit Total Health & Rehab Center or contact us to schedule an appointment with our team of specialists.