7 Amazing Dry Needling Benefits


You don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer from musculoskeletal pain. Sometimes, simply moving the wrong way can lead to sprains and soreness. When muscle pain strikes, there are a variety of acupuncture treatments that can help you cope, and even speed up the recovery process. Dry needling is one such treatment. This hybridized variant of traditional acupuncture focuses on providing relief for tense, contracted muscles, and has been found to be highly effective. But how exactly can dry needling benefit you?

Dry needling is particularly helpful for treating muscle spasms. Needles are inserted into stiff muscles and muscle knots to release tension. By encouraging muscles to relax, dry needling improves mobility, flexibility, strength, and range of motion.

What are the benefits of dry needling? 

There are a variety of dry needling benefits that make it worth your consideration. Here are just a few of the ways that dry needling can help you on your path to wellness.

Reduced muscle tension 

When we sustain an injury, whether it’s a sprained ankle from playing football or a stiff neck from sitting in front of a computer all day, it’s not uncommon for the injured muscle to tense up. Overuse and/or improper use of a muscle can cause that muscle to spasm or develop a knot, and it may fail to relax properly again. 

One of the biggest benefits of dry needling is its ability to reduce muscle tension. When dry needles are inserted into tense muscles, this causes those muscles to twitch. This simple natural reflex stimulates the muscles to contract and relax, providing fast relief for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues. 

Improved flexibility, strength, and range of motion

When our muscles become overworked, they lose some of their flexibility. Repetitive stress injuries, like tennis elbow, can greatly inhibit your athletic performance. Unfortunately, the pain from these types of injuries can make everyday activities difficult, too. 

Once your muscles tense up, they become much harder to use. Ignoring the problem or trying to work through the pain often leads to more inflammation. This creates a vicious cycle. But by encouraging the muscles to relax, dry needling can help you regain your flexibility and range of motion. 

Another one of the many dry needling benefits is that it can help you regain your strength. While dry needling won’t make you gain muscle mass, regular treatments can drastically improve your flexibility, allowing you to train more effectively. 

Better circulation and faster healing

In addition to improved flexibility and strength, dry needling stimulates circulation, which helps to speed up the recovery process. As the dry needle is inserted, it breaks up muscle fibers. This results in a tiny amount of tissue damage, just enough to cause a flood of blood, oxygen, and the stress hormone cortisol to rush into the surrounding tissues. 

Increasing circulation is the first step to accelerating the healing process. Adequate blood flow is necessary to remove waste products and deliver nutrients to the injury site. The better the blood flow to overworked muscles, the sooner they’ll feel better, and the faster you can get back to doing all of the things you love. 

Natural pain relief

Relieving tension in overworked muscles can go a long way toward improving pain. But dry needling benefits patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries in another way, too. When dry needles are inserted, this triggers the body to release a cascade of endorphins. These feel-good neurotransmitters latch onto the opioid receptors in the brain promoting a sense of well-being and enhancing the body’s pain threshold. This effect is similar to the natural “high” that many runners experience. 

Although dry needling causes a small amount of inflammation in the short term as the needle is inserted, it actually reduces inflammation in the long run. Remember, dry needling increases circulation which enables the body to flush out waste products. Clearing these substances away from the injury site helps lower inflammation, providing you with fast and completely natural pain relief.

Improved balance and posture

Posture and balance are two important factors in maintaining proper muscle alignment. Unfortunately, they’re often overlooked. Using correct posture aligns your muscles, joints, and ligaments, improving your balance and preventing pain. Of course, this can be a difficult task if you’re already in pain. 

By loosening up those tense muscles, dry needling benefits your posture. This makes it easier for your body to align itself correctly, restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system. Whether you’re struggling with sciatica pain or lower back pain due to years of hard work, dry needling can help.

Reduced stress and anxiety

It’s a fast-paced world we live in. With the constant demands of work and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to get anxious, and this can wreak havoc on your muscles. Many of us instinctively brace ourselves when we’re feeling stressed. This inevitably leads to muscle tension, which contributes to more stress, which contributes to muscle tension, and on and on it goes. 

Dry needling helps break the cycle. Physically stimulating muscles to relax has a beneficial impact on the biofeedback loop between physical stress and mental stress. Combined with dry needling’s ability to trigger the release of endorphins, this makes it an excellent treatment for everyday stress and anxiety.

Better sleep

One unexpected, but welcome, benefit of dry needling is that it can improve sleep quality. Dry needling works to reduce stress levels, making it easier to relax. And because it’s so effective at releasing muscle tension, it only follows that it would promote better sleep, too. 

Maybe you have a history of insomnia. Or maybe you’re a light sleeper who has trouble staying asleep. Whatever your sleep issues, regular dry needling sessions can benefit you and help you get the rest you so desperately need. 

Booking your first dry needling appointment

Now that you know about these amazing dry needling benefits, you’re probably eager to get started. At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we’re ready to create a treatment plan that enables you to meet your health and wellness goals. Contact our offices today to get started, and learn firsthand about the many advantages this amazing treatment method has to offer. 

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