New Drug-Free Pain Treatment Method Offered: Dry Needling

The Shepherdstown Chronicle runs a terrific piece on Pivot and our dry needling treatment.

How does it work? The paper spoke with Matt Taylor, a Pivot physical therapist and clinic director.

The post states: “Taylor explained that sometimes a person experiences pain caused by small areas in a muscle group that are very tight. These spots are called trigger points and can feel quite tender when pressure is applied. The presence of a trigger point can not only cause pain elsewhere in the body, but also limit muscle function and decrease range of motion. When a needle is inserted or ‘tapped’ into that trigger point, it creates a micro-trauma to the muscle which allows fresh blood flow and new healing factors like oxygen and proteins get into the muscle to help it heal.”

“Taylor uses detective work of sorts to find the source of pain or discomfort a person is having. He may test mobility and range of motion with various exercises, in addition to feeling for trigger points before both he and the patient decide on a course of treatment.”

“‘We use our hands to feel for restrictions of the muscles,’ said Taylor. ‘If we press on an area that recreates the pain you are feeling-or intensifies it-we have what is called an ‘active’ trigger point. Then with the patient’s permission, we use the needle to piston into the muscle tissue. We will get ‘twitch’ responses. The muscle actually twitches and when it stops, we’re done.'”

The post continues: “Dry needling is beneficial for things like plantar fascitis, migraines, fibromyalgia, disc and nerve problems and many more. It is an alternative treatment for people who have chronic pain and don’t want to take certain pain medications, namely opioids, but it can not be administered to areas where there are implants, active infection or to an area that has undergone surgery within the previous 6-8 weeks.”

The piece also notes: “Another new treatment offered by Taylor and Pivot in Shepherdstown is aquatic therapy at the Shepherd University Wellness Center. Taylor says this is especially helpful for post-surgery rehab when patients are instructed to only bear a certain amount of weight on an area. Many other physical ailments benefit from aquatic therapy as well.”

“‘Dry needling is just one of the tools in the tool box,’ said Chris Horowicz, Regional President of Pivot. ‘We are great practitioners of looking at function and movement analysis, judging by impairments and doing an initial evaluation to decide all the things that are wrong. That way we can direct a patient to a course of action that would be most beneficial, whether it be dry needling, aquatic therapy, or any other physical therapy work we do here. Our goal is to make you whole again so that you feel better.'”