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dry needling

At Urology Austin, the physical therapists may recommend Dry Needling as a part of your treatment plan.  Dry Needling is a highly effective form of treatment, backed by scientific research, that can address various neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions.  It has been used in the orthopedic physical therapy setting for decades treating a wide range of injuries and people, including professional athletes.  It can also be used to treat pelvic floor dysfunction that may be contributing to one’s pelvic pain and/or urinary symptoms.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is the application of a sterile, fine filament needle that is inserted into the skin to the deeper layers of tissue that are considered the trigger points to your pain.  It is called “dry needling” because there is no application of a liquid substance, i.e. medication.  Dry Needling helps breaks up shortened tissue, impacts the pain pathway of the nervous system, and helps neutralize the inflammatory system to allow for tissue healing, muscle relaxation, and pain relief.

Is this the same thing as acupuncture?

No, Dry Needling is not acupuncture.  Though both techniques use thin needles, acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine that focuses on specific points in the body to balance energy flow and improve overall health and disease.

What conditions can Dry Needling help resolve:

What does Dry Needling feel like?

The needles used in Dry Needling are very thin and flexible.  They are designed to be pushed through the skin and not cut the skin. Most patients feel a little pressure of the needle, but sometimes a muscle twitch is elicited.  This may be felt as an electrical shock, muscle ache, or cramp.  This is a normal sensation and even a desirable response because the area of dysfunction is being targeted.  Patients may also feel tired or relaxed after treatment because of the effect on the nervous system.  Occasionally, patients may have small amounts of bruising at the insertion site and muscles could feel sore for 1-2 days.  Your physical therapist will review all this information with you as well prior to your treatment.

How many treatments are needed?

Based on the clinical decision of your physical therapist, the number of sessions may vary and will be discussed with you during your session.

What should I do before and after treatment?

Before treatment, try to avoid eating 30 min beforehand, be well hydrated, and wear loose fitting clothes.  After treatment, you may experience mild muscle soreness or fatigue.  It is generally recommended to limit rigorous exercise but gentle stretching, massage, and/or application of heat or ice to the treated area may help ease any residual discomfort.

How will I know if the treatment worked?

You may feel immediate effects following the Dry Needling session on the same day or several days later.  Subsequent treatments may focus on the same treatment area or a different area depending on how you responded to your session.  This is patient specific and will be individualized for each patient.

If you have questions regarding Dry Needling or are interested in learning more about pelvic floor physical therapy, Urology Austin Physical Therapists are available at designated locations.  Speak with your urologist about the benefits of physical therapy and if physical therapy would be a choice for you for treatment.  Thank you for entrusting Urology Austin with your urological health care needs.


Learn more about our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists