When you think about needles and pain relief, you may automatically think of acupuncture. Dry needling is similar to acupuncture in that it uses the same type of needles. With acupuncture, needles are inserted into points of the body that are based off of ancient Chinese medicine. Dry needling inserts needles into areas that are called trigger points, or knots and tight areas of tissue in your muscles. Those points are usually hyperirritable and may have been caused by sudden trauma or repeated injury to the tissue. These points can be either active or latent, with active trigger points causing noticeable overall pain and referred pain on a daily basis. The goal with needling is to use the process to take your overactive and tight muscles and release tension while also healing any damage.
Healing At The Point Of Pain
Once the needle makes direct contact with your muscle, your muscle responds with a twitch response or a small contraction. The contact of the needle causes mechanical changes in your muscle tissue which relaxes tension. It sparks a chemistry change inside the muscle that begins to help it heal. It’s a quick and effective way for a physical therapist who’s certified in dry needling to access multiple parts of your muscle at once. If you’ve been injured, a physical therapist can palpate around the area and determine which parts of your muscles have knots that need to be needled. Needling can also be used to prevent active trigger points from forming and causing pain by needling latent points in the muscles. Although not obviously painful, latent points are tender areas in the muscle that almost everyone has. You have the option of getting those points needled without necessarily being injured to prevent any future pain or loss of range of motion or flexibility.
Needling Can Be Applied To Any Injury
Any type of injury treatment can be complemented with dry needling. Rather than using your hands or a foam roller to release tension, the needle goes deep into the muscle at the point of dysfunction. Therefore, needling can be incorporated into treating sudden injuries or long-term chronic issues like sciatica or back or neck pain. You can needle any part of your body and assist with healing various injuries. You may feel soreness in the area that you were needled about 24-48 hours after your session. Afterwards, you’ll notice almost immediate pain relief in the area. In addition, you’ll also feel better muscle movement, more range of motion, and decrease of muscle spasms. If you’re an office worker, you may have developed trigger points in areas that you constantly strain by sitting at your desk all day. If you’re an athlete, treating your trigger points may help you recover faster from aches and pains while training.
Hitting The Muscular Reset Button
Releasing built-up tension in trigger points results in healthier muscles that are free of pain and less likely to get injured. Trigger points can cause pain, inhibit proper muscle function, and decrease strength. Releasing tension from a trigger point is similar to hitting a reset button. After treatment, the muscle is restored to its normal length and is able to contract and relax without any pain. Anyone is able to have dry needling incorporated into their injury prevention and treatment program. Don’t hesitate to call us at Therapydia DC to see if you can have a dry needling program incorporated into your treatment program.
Do you love to run but can’t bear to do it in the cold? Just because it’s the winter, doesn’t mean that you’re relegated to the treadmill or some other indoor activity in its place. There are actually some upsides to continuing your favorite pastime during the winter months. Some of which actually make cold weather running a bit more attractive than you may think.
Vanquish Visceral Fat
Studies have shown that cold weather running decreases the amount of fat that you maintain in your body. The human body has various types of fat that at one point or another can be converted into ATP to be used as energy or fuel during activity. Consistent cold weather running affects the more dangerous fats, the visceral fat, more commonly associated with LDLs and VLDLs. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs and leads to increased risk of coronary artery disease. Increased physiologic health in and of itself is a great reason to take to the cold streets.
Train Your Breathing
Along that same theme, cold weather running is a great way to keep the weight off and your body toned through the winter. Cold weather running is good for building endurance and improving body composition. By continuing to exercise outdoors during the winter, you are giving yourself the opportunity to train your breathing in such a way that your body can sustain such activity. An improved breathing pattern is a solid benefit to a runner which will pay dividends in the warmer months.
Running in the cold also decreases the amount of heat stress on your body. This is especially important for distance runners as they are exercising for prolonged periods of time. It is actually easier to run in some colder temperatures. Some of the powers that be have added credence to this fact. For instance, the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon are both held in October while the New York Marathon is held in November. It is definitely on the colder side in all three of the cities that these races are held in at that time of year. There may be something to this running in cold weather after all.
Above are just some reasons that can help get you out the door for that run you so desperately want to go on but fear facing the cold. You’re not alone, so get out there and take advantage of some of the positive results that come from cold weather running. You never know, you may just train your way into a personal record.
Therapydia DC is excited to join the Therapydia network! We will opened our doors on July 24 at 818 18th Street NW, downtown at Farragut West Metro. Therapydia is a national network of Physical Therapy clinics that emphasize ongoing wellness programs like Yoga, Pilates, and TRX. We strive to create an environment that is conducive to wellness with clinics that are well-appointed, well-equipped and well-staffed.
Led by expert Clinic Director, Tim Vidale, Therapydia DC offers a range of physical therapy and personal wellness services. Therapydia picks top physical therapists in each city through a selctive screening process. We look for PTs who have extensive clinic experience, studied at top schools and who continually expand their knowledge base through evidence based continuing education. Our PTs have unparallelled experience in specialized areas of treatment and are highly trained in cutting-edge wellness practices.
Most importantly, Therapydia clinics use state of the art technology to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Our clinics take patient satisfaction very seriously, in fact, Therapydia clinics have an average national satisfaction score of 9.6. With our proprietary patient relationship management software, ReferralJETSM, we are able to track satisfaction and assure we are providing the best quality of care possible.
Want to learn more or schedule an appointment? We’d love to hear from you! Send us a message and we will be in touch shortly.