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11380 Prosperity Farms Road, Suite 213 Building D
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Telephone: (561) 328-9298
Fax: (561) 328-9348
Monday - Friday: 8 am to 7 pm | Saturday: By Request Only
Florida has now officially added Trigger Point Dry Needling to our scope of practice. All of our therapists at Sports and Orthopedics Specialist received their masters in dry needling certification and are now able to offer this incredibly effective treatment to our patients. We are some of the first therapists in the state of Florida to complete this rigorous certification and offer this in the clinic.

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a manual therapy technique that involves inserting an acupuncture-size needle into a myofascial trigger point in order to help relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore tissue function.

What is a myofascial trigger point?

A trigger point (TrP) is a small contracture within the muscle; it is a local area where muscle tissue is being starved of oxygen which generally causes pain and dysfunction. When a muscle is either held in a static position for too long (sitting, using computer/phone are examples) or over-stressed through exercise or postural imbalances it can cause trigger points to form. Trigger points are difficult to alleviate through stretching and massage alone.

How is dry needling different from traditional acupuncture?

While both techniques use the same size needle, the overall goal is different. In a dry needling treatment, the needle is inserted deep into the muscle tissue with the goal of bringing blood flow and oxygen to the trigger point in order for it to release. I say this generally, as I am NOT an acupuncturist, but traditional acupuncture treatment often involves inserting the needle into the superficial layers of skin with the goal of restoring energy balance along meridian lines.

Is dry needling safe?

Yes! PTs in Florida are required to complete 50 hours of hands-on coursework and 25 supervised sessions before practicing. In a study performed in 2014, PTs were put to the test and performed over 7500 dry needling treatments. No significant adverse events were found putting the risk at .04%; this is lower than most over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like Aspirin (18.7%) and Ibuprofen (13.7%). The study found that about 20% of treatments could have some mild adverse events like bruising, swelling, pain, bleeding but that most of these symptoms resolved within 24 hours.

Will it hurt?

Dry needling treatment can include mild discomfort during the treatment while the needle is inserted. You may feel a “twitch response” during the treatment which is the desired goal! This signifies the trigger point releasing and a restoration of the muscle to its normal resting tone. You may be sore up to 24 hours after the treatment. You may use ice, heat, and NSAIDs if needed.

Is dry needling different from trigger point injections?

Yes! While both treatments are aimed at treating trigger points, dry needling does not involve an injection of medication into the area. It is called "dry" needling for that reason. Trigger point injections typically inject lidocaine (a numbing agent) into the area. Both are effective for treating trigger points but dry needling has been shown to have longer-lasting effects and to have less side-effects due to there being no medicine involved.
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