Modern science is looking to dry needling therapy – also known as intramuscular stimulation – to treat myofascial chronic pain [muscle connective tissue] and musculoskeletal chronic pain [muscles and skeleton] naturally and safely.
4.9 million patients visited their doctor in 1999 for chronic pain.
The American Academy of Pain Management director, Kathryn Weiner, PhD states clearly, “Pain is a silent epidemic in the United States.”
Chronic Pain Statistics
• 1 in 5 people suffer moderate to severe chronic pain – 50 million people in the United States alone – caused by accident, physiological disorder or disease.
• 1 in 3 are unable to live independently – the most common causes for their pain are complications from surgery and accidents.
• 1 in 4 have personal relationships/friendships that are strained or broken.
• As many as two-thirds of those who suffer chronic pain are unable to exercise, drive, walk, socialize or engage in sexual activity – and they have been living with their pain for five years or more.
• Many long-time sufferers of chronic pain are at high risk for depression, feelings of isolation and loss of self-esteem.
• The most common forms of chronic pain are arthritis, lower back, muscle and fibromyalgia.
The International Association on the Study of Pain (IASP) president Professor Sir Michael Bond said, “Pain relief should be a human right, whether people are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS or any other painful condition.”
Pharmaceutical drugs are increasingly less effective in the treatment of chronic pain.
President of the European Chapter of IASP, Professor Harald Breivik, explained, “Chronic pain is one of the most underestimated health care problems in the world today, causing major consequences for the quality of life of the sufferer and a major burden on the health care system in the Western world. We believe chronic pain is a disease in its own right.”
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling therapy involves insertion of an acupuncture needle into the myofascial trigger point – also known as a knot. Studies have shown that these trigger points are the primary cause for 85% of chronic pain cases.
This therapy is different from traditional acupuncture. Both use very thin sterile needles that are inserted into many locations of the body.
Acupuncture is based on a foundation of patient energy. These energy centers become blocked, causing chaos throughout the body which can also manifest as chronic pain.
Dry needling is based on anatomical and neurophysiological principles – taking how the body physically functions and working to deactivate pain at the source by manipulating the exact problem area – much like massage only on a much deeper level that cannot be accessed externally.
Scientists with the National Institutes of Health are still researching exactly how this procedure works but theorize that pain becomes a cycle between mind and body.
Your body feels pain and your brain processes pain. When pain is severe or continues for a long time, the brain begins to send the signals to pain receptors automatically – as if the body is still experiencing the physical trauma itself.
Chronic pain is the brain stuck on “replay” and this song can continue indefinitely.
When a needle is inserted into the trigger-point, it causes a spinal reflex, or twitch – relaxing the muscle, deactivating the signal and breaking the cycle both physiologically and neurologically.
In essence, dry needling is a mental and physical “reset” button. Studies are currently being conducted to confirm research found to date, and the results from each have been promising.
Some people experience a cramp or spasm during the treatment, but such symptoms are brief. There have also been reports of soreness or slight bruising at the injection site after treatment.
If you are a victim of chronic pain, dry needling therapy may be the answer for you. After just a few visits, patients have reported a significant and measurable lessening of their pain.
One visit will not be enough. Unlike pharmaceutical solutions, pain relief is not instant. However, the therapy is safe, natural and focused on long-term pain relief. Like physical rehabilitation, it works over time.
To end your chronic pain (which drugs may be having less and less of an affect on), committing to a few visits for dry needling therapy seems a small price to pay.