Functional Dry Needling — Sherwood Park & Edmonton

In functional dry needling (FDN) myofascial trigger points, muscles, and connective tissue are stimulated by a thin acupuncture-type needle. This releases shortened bands of tissue and decreases trigger point activity. Functional dry needling aims to ‘reset the muscle’ by altering its proprioceptive role, changing its length, and influencing input to the muscle. Treating the neuromuscular tissue can result in decreased pain and restored muscle length and function. Through muscle re-education, you can correct your movement patterns and actively participate in achieving your rehabilitation goals.

How Will I Know If Functional Dry Needling Is Appropriate For Me?

Our physical therapists will obtain your patient history and identify your symptom behavior. They will perform a posture assessment and several orthopedic and functional tests to determine your sources of pain and dysfunctional movement patterns — it is common to feel pain in an area separate from the trigger point.

Plus, when the muscles that run between spinal segments are tight, they can put pressure on nerves. This affects the nerves’ conduction and input to muscles throughout the body. Your physical therapist will identify if trigger points in muscles or around spinal segments may be contributing to your symptoms.

We will decide if functional dry needling would be a recommendable treatment for your symptoms according to our assessment findings, our diagnosis, and your rehabilitation goals.

What Is the Purpose of Functional Dry Needling?

Edmonton and area patients choose functional dry needling to:

  • Decrease pain and eliminate referring sources of pain.
  • Release muscle shortening at local trigger points or spinal segments, which can cause compression and irritation for the nerves.
  • Normalize biochemical and electrical dysfunction contributing to pain, inflammation, and tight muscle tissue.
  • Improve function by facilitating an accelerated return to correct movement patterns.

Examples of Conditions That Can Benefit from Functional Dry Needling

Sherwood Park and area clients have received FDN for the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions including:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Hamstring and groin strain
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Achilles tendinopathies

What To Expect from the Treatment

We will discuss the risks, benefits, and other treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have prior to obtaining informed consent for needling.

Your physical therapist will insert a single-use, sterile, disposable needles into trigger points in a muscle. You may feel a muscle ache or cramp (‘twitch response’) when the needle is inserted into the trigger point. You may feel this sensation locally or along a pain referral pattern reproduced away from the treatment site.

It is normal to feel muscle soreness for 24 to 48 hours, similar to when you participate in a new physical activity. This typically feels different than the symptoms for which you are seeking treatment. You can lessen post-treatment soreness by applying heat (a warm bath or a hot pack) using ice, carrying out movement and stretches (as directed by your physical therapist), and increasing water consumption for 24 hours. You may feel tired, fatigued, emotional, or energized for 1 to 2 hours following the treatment.

Some people have exacerbated symptoms. It is important to make note of how you feel after treatment and let your physical therapist know. We can then adjust your treatment, if necessary. Typically, patients see positive effects within 2 to 4 treatment sessions when they combine FDN with an active treatment program.

If you have questions about FDN and how it may benefit you, please contact us.