22 In Personal

Dry Needling – An Alternative Method for Chronic Pain


Happy Friday Ladies!

By now, if you are a reader of the blog, you know I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I am a believer in being proactive in your health. I have always been assertive when it came to my doctor and my health, as well as a person who is informed. Today I am talking about using Dry Needling as an alternative method for pain.

My doctor used to love when I would come to the appointment with printed pages in hand from my research, or points I had typed out to discuss. After diagnosis, I knew I needed something to control the pain I was experiencing. I personally am not one to believe one can only use natural medicines/herbs OR western medicine. There is no rule that says one over the other, although many people have strong beliefs about them.

I do use Western medicine for my pain, lack of sleep, but have also found other methods to be a “lifesaver” in terms of functioning and quality of life. I have had readers ask me about Dry needling, and i thought i would discuss it here and tell you that it is been a mainstay in my pain management and helps me greatly. When my PT told me she was taking classes for dry needling, she asked if I would be willing to try it. I became her first “guinea pig’. As a person that used to turn away when blood was drawn, I became adjusted to the dry needling technique rather quickly.

Dry needling is NOT accupuncture. Accupuncture uses a thin fillagree needle and deals with meridians and functions of the body. In dry needling, the needles are not left in the muscles of the body, rather, the muscles are needled with a med- fast motion, causing the release of tight knots or trigger points. I go to DN therapy every other week, as my body develops trigger points chronically, so this helps me to function.  I am sore and very tired that day and the following, so I usually will rest and take hot baths with Espom salts.

I will say at first, it was something i had to get used to, as I had my calves needled in the first session, I think my toes curled! I did get used to the feeling, however, as i distract myself by talking to my PT to keep my mind occupied. It really doesn’t phase me much now, after 3-4 yrs of it, only to say that i need the following day to recover from sore muscles. I think I have had every muscle nearly needled with the exception of my hands and head!

Dry needling has been transformative for me. 10 years ago, I could hardly move from my couch, only to take the pups to the back yard to go. Now, am able to take walks, go out socially, and do many of the things that I enjoyed before I was diagnosed. This year, I have been able to get off 2 medications, and I do owe much of my improvement to dry needling. For me, I know I will not be able to do everything I did before EDS, but my quality of life has improved greatly since.

I should mention, if your muscle pain is not chronic, and is from sport, or occurs occasionally, you can also benefit. I must continue to go, however, with occasional muscle pain, a person could go for several sessions and have the issue resolved.

Have you tried dry needling or an alternative method for pain control?

Have a great weekend!

Jess xo

disclaimer- I am not a doctor, so please speak to a medical professional before trying any method .

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  • Reply
    Kristin McMillan
    April 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I’m so sorry to have missed this when you first posted, Jess. Life has been crazy, but this was so good to read and learn about. I am so thankful you have something that really helps you! I’m totally in love with acupuncture for a wide range of issues (including the miracle of getting rid of period cramps I’d had all my life in just one treatment!!), so also good to learn (and see!) about the differences between the two types of treatments. I must say OUCH, because I’m really sensitive to pain, but probably just a matter of getting used to it, like you did. Acupuncture doesn’t bother me at all except in two places. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information so others can hopefully find some relief too. What a blessing when we find something that helps us! Hugs! xoxox

  • Reply
    March 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    After suffering from plantar fasciitis for a year, my PT has suggested dry needling. I may try it after reading this

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 9, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Hi Patsy!
      I have had dry needling for foot pain. Many of the muscles are in the lower leg and the foot itself. It is very helpful. I wish you the best and hope you consider it, as planters is no fun! Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply
    Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels
    March 6, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Oh this I would try if I suffered from chronic pain. I am not afraid of needles so I would definitely try it. Thank you for sharing the details!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    This is a really interesting post Jess! I have been wondering about this process and was wondering how it differs from acupuncture. I also agree that for me I need a combination of western medication and natural remedies. I really hope to be able to come off some of the toxic medications that I am on. But for now , it is what it is.
    I love Epson salt’s too!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Elle, we are in the same boat! I need the western medicine as well for pain, but try other methods such a heat, epsom salts and dry needling and they help. I do wish you the best.. in time, you never know! xx

  • Reply
    March 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I tried dry needling and found it very effective…until I started getting some kind of histamine reaction. I mean, not being able to breath histamine reaction. And so I gave it up.

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Oh, that is a shame! I have not heard of that happening, but thank you for the info.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I’m glad you’ve found a therapy that works for you! Dry needling sounds really interesting…I’ll admit that I did cringe a little watching the video…but I’m glad it doesn’t phase you much anymore! I’d definitely consider it if I was dealing with chronic pain.
    Jeans and a Teacup

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 4, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Thank you Jessica! Yes, it will be something i continue 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Shelby DePriest
    March 3, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I developed trigger points as a result of life long poor walking mechanics. I don’t know what I would have done without dry needling by my PT. It was not painful for me, just a little uncomfortable. I never felt the needle itself, but sometimes when the muscle contracted and relaxed there was a little discomfort. I don’t get trigger points anymore now
    that I have developed and strengthened the right muscles to use when I walk, but dry needling was a huge help in my physical therapy program.

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 3, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Hi Shelby!
      Yes, i am very used to it now, and there are some areas that are uncomfortable, like needling the neck, but do not find it painful. That is wonderful that you dont get trigger points anymore and you know how to avoid them! xx

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    I have not tried dry needling but I’m all for doing what works and what you’re comfortable with. There are so many fascinating practices now and because we have access to all kinds of information thanks to the internet why wouldn’t we do our own research and come up with a great plan?! All of us is smarter than one of us!
    Good for you Jess!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 3, 2018 at 10:35 am

      so true, Kellyann! I have researched different methods and really do think that a well informed patient is the best one. xx

  • Reply
    Amy Arnold
    March 2, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Good for you for researching and being your own advocate! I am glad you found something that helps.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 3, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Amy! It has been very beneficial. xx

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 9:22 am

    This method helped Nancy tremendously with her back, and it was nice telling her that one of my blogging friends uses it, when she first heard about it!!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 2, 2018 at 9:39 am

      That is great Jodie! I was very excited to try it when my PT first offered it and have been going ever since. People without chronic pain can also benefit greatly, as it can be done in a session or two if you have overworked your muscles via sport etc, or have muscle pain that isn’t chronic. I will be going for years, as my knots do not go away, but reoccur. It has helped my quality of life! xx

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 8:11 am

    This post is so informative. I am so glad you found this treatment and that it has allowed you to live a more active lifestyle. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 2, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Thank you Suzanne! Yes, this has been very helpful and i am so glad to have this treatment. I would be in trouble if I didn’t have it. enjoy your weekend too! xx

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 2:59 am

    I talked about dry needling yesterday with my fysio therapist. He said that it hurts a lot, but it helps. He explaned how it worked. And that is the important thing isn t it, that it works!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      March 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

      I wouldn’t say it hurts alot, but everyone’s pain tolerance is different. It was tough the first time I experienced it, as i was not used to the feeling. i have been getting treatment for 3 years now and it doesn’t bother me. You do need to rest a day after, as your body needs fluids and the release of the knots makes you tired. x Let me know if you get it!

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