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What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is an emerging treatment that has become very popular in the last five or ten years. Here at Hybrid Performance Group, we utilize dry needling in our treatment approach on a regular basis and our clients have seen some great results. If there’s a treatment that turns a few heads and raises a few eyebrows, it’s dry needling. So why should you consider dry needling as a treatment option for your joint and muscle pain or to increase recovery and performance? Let’s explore these questions as well as clear up some of the common misconceptions and fears surrounding dry needling therapy.

The History of Dry Needling

Dry needling is often confused with acupuncture, and although we're using the same exact needles as you do in acupuncture, the approaches for each treatment are different. Acupuncture has been around for well over two thousand years. It's a completely different kind of Eastern Medicine look at the body, and Dr. Detweiler has actually taken some courses in acupuncture in the past. In contrast, dry needling is a more of a Western Medicine take on the physiological effects that happen when we insert objects into the body, like acupuncture needles, to create tissue micro-damage and healing. The goal of dry needling is to use an acupuncture needle to actually enter the muscle tissue and fascia and provide a disruption in the tissue to signal the nervous system.

The term “dry needling” actually came from an advancement in another technique called prolotherapy. In prolotherapy, regular syringes were used to inject saline into the body’s joints. This provided healing responses for conditions like arthritis and other joint pain. People then started to hypothesize "Well, maybe the benefit comes from just the needle itself providing a stimulus in the body?" So, then practitioners switched over to using just the acupuncture needles. They are smaller needles that create a less damage than a syringe, but they still get the job done.

What are the Needles Like?

We use a couple different sizes of needles in our office. This first is a little bit smaller at 30 millimeters in length, just around an inch long. Then we have one that a little bit larger at a 60-millimeter length, so around two inches. Both needles have an incredibly small diameter, so small that fluid cannot be pushed inside. Of course, some people are going to have different reactions to dry needling, but the majority of individuals that come in for treatment get needled, and do not even realize the needles were inserted or removed.

How Do We Use Dry Needling?

In our office, dry needling is an incredibly popular modality because it is very versatile. A lot of our athletes and members of the active population like to utilize it for a multitude of different conditions, including sprains, strains, and tight muscles. Dry needling is also very effective for things like chronic pain, acute injuries, and even migraine headaches. It is a very effective, to-the-point treatment, because we are actually getting down into the muscular layer with the needles.

If you have any questions, or you want to learn more information about dry needling, we at Hybrid Performance Group are always an open book. Feel free to reach out to us via email at, call our office at 614-400-5327, or stop in and schedule a visit to see what dry needling can do for you.

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