Functional Dry Needling: Does it Help With Pelvic Dysfunction?
Hello readers, and welcome back to the Resilience Physical Therapy blog. As a Chattanooga physical therapist that specializes in women’s pelvic health, we make it our mission to provide every woman, whether she is a patient of ours or not, with resources and information related to pelvic health. In today’s post, we want to cover functional dry needling and some of the ways it can help in the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles.
Women’s Pelvic Health is Important
Pelvic dysfunction can encompass a wide variety of symptoms and diagnoses. Generally speaking, dysfunction of this sort is caused by pelvic floor muscles that are either underactive or overactive. In either case, the muscles are not operating from their optimal resting length and are unable to function at their full capacity.
Functional dry needling, or trigger point dry needling, is a treatment technique physical therapists can utilize to help restore muscles to their optimal lengths. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) defines dry needling as, “a skilled technique performed by a physical therapist using thin filiform needles to penetrate the skin and or underlying tissues to affect change in body structures and functions for the evaluation and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, movement impairments and disability.”
What is the Goal of Functional Dry Needling in Relation To Pelvic Floor Therapy?
The goal of functional dry needling is to effect change in the taut bands of muscle or fascia (trigger points) that can cause pain to other parts of the body. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles.
Dry needling facilitates the removal of the chemical toxins associated with these abnormal tissues (trigger points). In doing so, the “panic” message that is sent to your brain from these trigger points is blocked, allowing the brain and the body to relearn new pathways of communicating that are more positive and healing. Muscles are then able to operate at a more optimal and functional length, to then be able to address and progress strength and/or relaxation exercises as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Functional Dry Needling
Does it hurt?
Often times, patients do not even feel the needle penetrate the skin. You may experience a tight twitchy feeling while the needling is being performed, as the trigger point releases. Sometimes a crampy, heavy feeling may follow treatment for 24-48 hrs.
How many sessions does it take?
Often, patients experience immediate relief. But on average, 2-4 treatment sessions are adequate for pain and symptom relief. Dry needling is often part of a larger treatment plan that encompasses manual techniques, stretching, and specific exercises designed to treat pelvic dysfunction in women.
What muscle can be needled?
Any muscle is really fair game. To address pelvic pain and dysfunction, needling muscles in the hip and low back can often help as these muscles can refer pain into the pelvic floor.
How do I do this?
Resilience Physical Therapy, LLC, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is offering 30-minute functional dry needling sessions for $50. The initial visit does not require a prescription and can be booked directly through the Resilience website.