Does Dry Needling Help with Chronic Back Pain?
Updated: Mar 15
If you have lower back pain, stiffness, or aches, it's very tempting to think that it will go away on its own. You might want to pass it off as having just "slept awkwardly," or tell yourself it's just a little pain that everyone your age suffers from. There's no obvious reason why it happened, but it doesn't seem to be going away!
If that's happening to you, you're not alone: we hear this type of thing all the time. In fact, low back pain and sciatica are THE most common problems that we see at Body Mechanix Physiotherapy and Fitness. When it comes to living with back pain, everybody we see wants to know: "Why is this happening to me" or "Why am I still Suffering from Back Pain after Putting up with it for 6 months(or more)?"
Most people hope that they will wake up one morning and their back pain will disappear "like magic" just like it never happened...but it doesn't and the longer people wait, the worse their suffering becomes. Another thing we commonly see all the time is that the Doctor told them to rest for at least 6 weeks, "try these painkillers" and "see how it goes". But, this is rarely the best advice. More often, after 6 weeks of resting, they go back to their doctor, no better, and need more and stronger painkillers just to get through the day. But…there are very safe and natural ways to treat low back pain and sciatica that start to give you the freedom from the day-in day-out low back pain that makes sitting for work, picking up the kids, or exercising painful and sometimes unbearable. One of the ways that we’ve found to help give massive relief to sufferers of low back pain and sciatica is Dry Needling.
So, what is dry needling and how can it help with sciatica and low back pain relief?
At Body Mechanix Physiotherapy, we use Dry Needling as part of a holistic approach to treating back pain. That holistic treatment includes individualized exercises that help you turn off your pain when you aren’t in the clinic, joint care including adjustments and mobilization, as well as cupping and massage. Simply put, dry needling uses acupuncture needles targeted at those difficult to treat spots including trigger points, joints, ligaments, and tendons. The targeting of those spots tells your body to “release” those tight and painful spots and allow them to relax so you can start moving. Next, it triggers a healing response in the treated areas along with releasing your body’s naturally produced pain relieving chemicals without the nasty side effects of over the counter or prescription drugs targeted at pain. At Body Mechanix, we then couple it with electrical stimulation as we’ve found that combination to be the most powerful in increasing pain relief especially when dealing with low back pain or sciatica. It is especially helpful when no matter what you do, it hurts to move and many of our patients notice significant improvement within a couple of treatments (and some the very same day). It is part of our Reset-Reinforce-Reload model for recovering from injury and getting you back on the path to doing what you love (and not having your body being the thing that holds you back).
Is it Safe?
Yes, the most common side-effects are short term drowsiness and light-headedness (usually gone within about 5 minutes and are less common if you’ve had a small meal before treatment) and soreness (like you’ve been working out type of ache) and sweating. Body Mechanix uses single-use, sterile acupuncture needles and has Doctors of Physical Therapy who are certified in treatment with Dry Needling who have met Florida’s Requirements for being licensed to practice Dry Needling (including supervision by Dry Needling experts). Your Doctor will cover any health history that you may have so that you can be confident that whatever course we suggest will be the right one for you. Some conditions that may make dry needling not the best choice for you include if you are afraid of needles (we want this to be pleasant experience for you and worrying about the treatment should not be a part of that), if you have a clotting disorder, skin infection around the area we are treating, or are pregnant (we generally use other treatment options during the first trimester). Also let your Doctor know if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator as we will not use electrical stimulation to the acupuncture needles.
What should I expect?
While everybody’s experience with dry needling is somewhat different, most people describe it as the most targeted massage they’ve gotten as the needle goes into those tight tender spots as well as along entrapped nerves, tendons, and ligaments (depending on what needs treatment). When the needle goes into the trigger point, some people experience a deep ache that goes away within a few seconds.
How do I get Dry Needling?
Before considering Dry Needling, every patient at Body Mechanix has the opportunity to have a free consultation with one of our Dry Needling Certified Doctors of Physical Therapy. In this consultation, you’ll have a chance to talk with one of our Doctors as well as learn what it’ll take to get you back to doing the things that you really want to be doing. If dry needling is not something that you would like to do, we also have options such as cupping and massage, among other treatments.
Have more questions? Schedule your Free consultation with one of our Dry Needling Experts so you can start to get the relief you need. If you’ve been dealing with Low Back Pain or Sciatica for longer than you should, our Free Consultation including our Total Body Diagnostic Test is usually your next best step, we have a limited number of them weekly and they often go fast.