Dry Needling as an Alternative to Medication

“As a Buddhist, Hal Taylorson has an aversion to taking medication, but as a neck pain sufferer, he needed some relief,” writes The Courier-Journal. “He started getting dry needling treatments from a physical therapist as an alternative to medication.”

“The therapy involves inserting thin needles into muscles to ease pain and tension. Basically, it’s for almost ‘any patient that has soft-tissue problems, so muscle sprains and strains, even chronic muscle pain,’ said Jon Holland, a physical therapist… Therapists target “trigger points” or irritable, hard “knots” within a muscle or connective tissue that may cause pain over a large area, according to an explainer for patients in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy last year. The trigger points are associated with tight muscle bands, and the pain can hinder daily activities and movement.”

“Dry needling is usually done as part of a larger treatment plan that includes other therapies. ‘It’s a great adjunct to a lot of the interventions that we like to do with patients … and it’s very safe,’ said Chad Garvey, a physical therapist… Dry needling is often used with physical therapy patients who have ‘hit a plateau with their progress,’ Garvey said. ‘We see a fair amount of folks with significant pain that has not responded to standardized treatments.’”