In dry needling, a “dry” needle (without medication) is inserted through the skin and into the tight areas and knots of a muscle, called trigger points, says Kristin Dorio, a senior physical therapist who offers dry needling at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Services at Murrells Inlet.
Trigger points are knots that contribute to pain and decrease muscle function and flexibility, and they can originate from poor posture or repetitive stress.
Inserting the tiny needle causes a reaction in the muscle that causes it to relax, Dorio says. The needle stimulates the body’s normal response to heal itself.
Dry needling treatment has been successful for patients with a wide variety of conditions including repetitive stress injuries, muscle tendonitis, neck pain, headaches, rotator cuff impingement, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, sciatica, muscle strains, iliotibial band syndrome, patella-femoral dysfunction and plantar fasciitis.
“Muscles can become incredibly tight and they might not be responding to massage or other manual treatment techniques,” she says. “But if we know that patient has trigger points, dry needling is a viable option that’s been around for a while and is gaining popularity in this area.”
In response to the trend, Tidelands Health recently expanded dry needling from two to seven locations throughout the region. The therapy is now offered at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Services locations at North Myrtle Beach, Carolina Forest, Conway, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island and Georgetown.