Boston Physical Therapy & Wellness

Dry Needling

What's This Dry Needling Thing I've Been Doing Recently?

May 23, 2017

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Boston Physical Therapy & Wellness | Dry Needling | Medford MA

Dry Needling (DN), a.k.a. Biomedical Dry Needling (BDN), Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) or Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT) is used for the treatment of pain and dysfunction, and has been found in the literature to improve pain, disability and function. The DN technique is a modern Western medical modality that is not based on Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture, in that the purpose of DN is not to alter the flow of Qi or energy along traditional Chinese meridians. Dry needling has it's own theoretical concepts, terminology, and clinical application.

Dry needling is based on a modern comprehensive understanding of human neuromusculoskeletal anatomy, patho-physiology and on scientific research and pain models.

Dry needling in the United States is also known as trigger point needling, functional dry needling, dry needling technique, integrative dry needling, intramuscular stimulation (IMS), or intramuscular manual therapy.

Dry Needling (DN) is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, such as inflammation, tendonitis, contractures, trigger points, tissue adhesions, microcirculation, edema, and various other neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

A comprehensive examination and evaluation of the neuromusculoskeletal systems allows our doctors of physical therapy to create a musculoskeletal diagnoses based on modern medical concepts that is not based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This allows us do develop a comprehensive treatment strategy for each individual patient.

Dry Needling | Medford MA
Dry Needling | Medford MA

Dry Needling, combined with manual physical therapy treatment, can help the following conditions:

  • Acute and chronic tendonitis
  • Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Headaches and whiplash
  • Lower back pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • TMJ
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Many other neuromusculoskeletal conditions...

Please note: Dry Needling is just one modality used in conjunction with the variety of manual therapy techniques and prescriptive exercises, prescribed by our manual physical therapist to restore you to optimal physical function. DN is only one component of a multidimensional treatment approach, geared at creating a successful outcome for you. As a manual physical therapist, we address various neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as biomechanical muscle imbalances, postural dysfunctions, muscular flexibility limitations, strength deficits, swollen or stiff joints, and many other conditions... all of these conditions may require much more than just dry needling.

What is the cost of dry needling?
Cost is dependent on whether we are seeing you as physical therapy patient or if we are seeing you for dry needling only:

Dry Needling Only Patients
  • Initial Evaluation and Treatment:$150.00
  • Follow-up treatments:$100.00
Physical Therapy plus Dry Needling

(Requires a prescription from your physician for physical therapy with a diagnosis, for example: low back pain. It is also dependent upon us getting approval from your insurance company for physical therapy treatment.)

  • Initial Evaluation and Treatment:$20.00 (Depending on your insurance coverage)
  • Follow-up treatments:$20.00 (Depending on your insurance coverage)

*Note: $20.00 covers the cost of the dry needling treatment only, and you may have additional costs dependent on your individual deductibles and co-pays based on your physical therapy benefits covered in your specific insurance coverage. (In the current economy, we understand the financial stresses that can be incurred by many people, and we have various individualized payment options for those that may need it. Don't let money keep you from recovery.)

It is important to note that as physical therapists:

  1. We do not claim to practice acupuncture, and it would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of dry needling as an "Acupuncturist", since dry needling practitioners do not use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts.
  2. We do not use TCM acupuncture theories, meridian acupoints, and terminology.
  3. We do not use TCM ancient meridian systems, such as Qi (Chi) or energy channels.
  4. We do not use TCM acupuncture diagnostic techniques like tongue and pulse assessments.
  5. We treat primarily nueromusculoskeletal conditions, where a TCM practitioner works on balancing whole body systems.

It is pointless to compare hours of training for TCM acupuncturists and western trained doctors of physical therapy. Definitely doctors of physical therapy will have more oranges and TCM acupuncturists will have more apples. The similarities the two systems have, is that they both use monofilament needles, which are inserted into the human body.

The manual therapists at Boston PT & Wellness who perform dry needling have been through various training courses in dry needling, and carry dual credentials. We always put patient safety first. Our certifications are through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy, in addition to the American Dry Needling Institute. We have a thorough understanding of the scientific literature, are involved in ongoing research, and practice evidence-based medicine.