Unusual New Physical Therapy Treatment Could Have Patients Free from Pain

Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 7:34 pm    

DryNeedle_BlogWe often think of needles as the cause of pain, but in physical Therapist Kelly Shinall’s rehab facility in Oxford, Mississippi, needles may just be the anecdote for some patients.

Shinall is one of only 48 therapists in Mississippi certified in dry needling, an unusual new procedure where one or more small needles are inserted into the area where the patient is experiencing pain. The therapist then uses the needles to manipulate and untangle the muscular fibers that are causing the issue.

Though the technique may initially sound like acupuncture, Shinall explains that it’s actually quite different. “The only thing [dry needling] has in common with acupuncture is the use of a needle. It is based on medical scientific principles, not Eastern medicine,” she said.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the technique stimulates the underperforming tissues, and can be used to treat pain and impaired movement.

Shinall is definitely a believer. “I’ve already seen some very promising, almost dramatic results, from patients on whom other therapies had not helped,” she says. “It’s certainly not a miracle treatment, but it can be a very helpful tool to add to existing physical therapy methods.”

Physical therapists may evaluate and treat patients who have been diagnosed with a treatable condition in the last 180 days without a physician’s referral, according to the Mississippi Board of Physical Therapy website, but some conditions or insurance companies may require a physician’s referral.

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