Dry Needling for Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain can sprout from a number of conditions and cause a lot of trouble for the person in pain. Pain is more than just being hurt; it can have other physical and psychological effects. Compared to acute pain, which dissipates after a short time, chronic pain can last quite a long time even after a condition has been treated.

One solution for chronic neck pain is a technique called dry needling. Not to be confused with acupuncture, dry needling is a pain relief technique growing in popularity when treating chronic neck pain. At Mid-County Physical Therapy, we help our patients through several pain relief methods, including dry needling. Check out our guide to using dry needling for chronic pain below.

What is Dry Needling?

Before understanding how dry needling and pain are connected, it would be helpful to define these terms separately. During a typical dry needling session, a physical therapist will place needles into an area of the skin that feels pain or tightness. After leaving the needles in place for a few minutes, they are removed without anything being injected into the body. 

The idea behind dry needling is that it relieves pain and tightness by releasing muscle knots. While the above description is called trigger point dry needling, other techniques have been developed over the years. Some dry needling methods include moving the needles frequently, while others will focus on areas surrounding the main pressure point on the body.

What is Chronic Neck Pain?

Any neck pain that lasts more than a few months should be considered chronic. Chronic neck pain may be a sign of a more significant issue in the vertebrae, nerves, or another part of the back. If this is the case, you must seek out the advice of a medical professional immediately. The key to defeating chronic pain is recognizing that it exists in the first place.

If you are feeling chronic neck pain, medications and typical physical therapy may not be enough to feel better. One of the reasons chronic pain is different from acute pain is that traditional methods cannot as easily trounce it. When Mid-County Physical Therapy is faced with a case of chronic neck pain, we sometimes deploy dry needling techniques to help our patients.

A person’s back is given dry needling treatment

How Can Dry Needling Help Treat Chronic Neck Pain?

Dry needles can be placed in areas with pain and stiffness, providing relief. When other pain relief methods fail, dry needling can be the solution to centralizing the pain and casting it out. While it may take a few different sessions and methods to achieve, dry needling can effectively counter chronic neck pain.

Dry needling can also be used as a supplement to other forms of pain relief care, such as the medications mentioned above and physical therapy. The best way to treat chronic pain of any kind is to come after it from multiple angles. Dry needling is just one way to relieve pain, but its effectiveness can be outstanding if appropriately performed.

Treating Chronic Neck Pain at Mid-County Physical Therapy

Many do not fully understand the pros and cons of dry needling, but Mid-County Physical Therapy readily endorses this advanced form of pain relief. To better understand this form of care, give Mid-County Physical Therapy a call. We would be happy to help you with dry needling and other forms of pain relief. Reach out today!

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