HaysMed is now offering expanded services in its rehabilitation department and also expanded dry needling at the Orthopedic Institute. Dry Needling, a form of therapy, is an additional tool available to qualifying patients who suffer from muscle pain.

Dry needling is a technique that providers use to treat myofascial pain and/or trigger points in muscles. Trigger points are shortened bands of muscle fibers that can cause pain, limit strength and impede normal range of motion. The benefits for patients are decreased muscular pain, decreased muscular tightness, improved range of motion, improved strength and improved functional use of a body part.

The dry needling uses a thin, single-use needle to relive the trigger points.

“Most patients feel little to no pain when the needle is inserted,” said Lindsey Dreiling, physical therapist at HaysMed. “But they may feel a muscle twitch or cramp as the trigger point is treated.”

Dreiling is certified Level 1 in dry needling which enables her to treat arms, including shoulders and upper trapezius, legs including hips/posterior pelvis and low back from L3-L5 and neck from C7-T1. She also can treat the two trigger points at the base of the skull which help with headaches.

Dr. Wally Walstrom, who also performs dry needling, uses a hypodermic needle to break up the scar tissue and bring blood flow back to the damaged tissues. This form of dry needling uses ultrasound to direct the visual guidance of the practitioner. The needle makes small holes and slices in a tendon or scarred muscle which increases blood circulation to the area. It is the first step of the healing process that will ultimately repair/heal the degenerated tissue. It is used to treat tendinopathy, tendon-related pain and chronic scarring in muscles.

“This process will ultimately repair/heal the degenerated tissue.” Walstrom said. “Many people with chronic pain due to scar tissue of the muscles or tendinopathy can benefit from ultrasound assisted dry needling.”

Dry needling is not acupuncture. It focuses on intramuscular stimulation. The only commonality is both processes use the same type of needles.

Dreiling and Walstrom also perform “deep” needling. This form of dry needling targets deep muscles, such as those that attach directly to the spine or pelvis and can’t be accessed with traditional physical therapy.

Insurance coverage of dry needling varies. The costs of dry needling done with Dreiling in the HaysMed Outpatient Rehabilitation department are $35 per 15 minute treatment. The frequency is a once-per-week treatment. Dry needling treatments with Walstrom are done in the Orthopedic Institute due to the use of ultrasound and the costs vary depending on the number of sessions required. Neither treatment option requires a physician’s referral.

To schedule an appointment with physical therapy or for more information call (785) 623-5691.