Dry Needling & Physical Therapy FAQ

If you’re new to physical therapy, there’s no doubt you have questions. We’ve put together all the most commonly-asked questions about dry needling and physical therapy here. If you have a question that you don’t see addressed here, let us know! We’re happy to talk through any of your concerns.

Do you take my insurance?

Probably! Below is a list of insurances we currently take. If you do not see your insurance listed below, call us and let us know so we can add them. Our goal is to be able to serve EVERYONE in our great community.

Alignetworks, Ambetter, American Care Source, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, CorVel Corporation, Coventry, Evolutions Health Care, FedMed, Fortified Provider Network, Galaxy Health Network, Health Link of AR, Heartland Therapy Provider Network, Humana, Integrated Health Plan, Medicaid, Medicare, Municipal Benefits Health Fund, National Comp Care\Tyson, NovaSys, NPPN, Optum Health (United Health), Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS), Stratose (PPO Plus and AMCO) dba PPO Plus, Prime Health Services, Provider Select, QualChoice of Arkansas, Rockport Healthcare Group, Inc., Three Rivers Provider Network, Tricare, USA Managed Care Organization, Windsor Health Plan/Wellcare, and more!

Can my physical therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

While your Physical Therapist is an important member of your medical team, physicians are typically the healthcare providers that will provide you with a medical diagnosis.

Can I go directly to my physical therapist, or do I need a medical referral?

Seeing a physical therapist first is safe, and it could even save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, if you are not making significant improvement within 30 days, a physical therapist will refer you to/back to your physician.

What does a treatment plan cost?

The cost of your personalized treatment plan depends on your diagnosis, individual needs, and your insurance plan. We will verify your insurance coverage before beginning treatment to ensure that your care is affordable.

What is the difference between Trigger Point Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is performed by someone trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They will not only use needles but also herbs, nutrition, psychology, tongue and pulse diagnosis, etc.  Acupuncturists look to stimulate specific acupuncture points to correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians.

Trigger point dry needling, on the other hand, is a technique used to treat the neuromusculoskeletal (nerves and muscles) system based on pain patterns, muscular dysfunction and other orthopedic signs and symptoms. Dry needling is dependent upon physical examination and assessment to guide the treatment.

The dry needling practitioner must have extensive education and knowledge of the nervous system, muscular system, and orthopedics in general.

Why do I need Trigger Point Dry Needling if I see a chiropractor?

Chiropractors can be great for joint care. However, knots are a muscle issue. If you have been getting regular adjustments without relief, dry needling might be a great solution for your tight, painful muscles.

Is dry needling safe?

Dry needling is incredibly safe. The doctor performing the intervention has extensive training in the technique and knows where all the vulnerable tissues are like nerves and arteries so that he can avoid them. By using clean techniques and sterile needles, the risk of getting an infection, although possible, is incredibly low for anyone with a functional immune system.

Does dry needling hurt?

Tight, painful muscles can cause severe pain. When a well-placed needle is inserted into a tight muscle it can cause a mild ache followed by relaxation. Many people report a feeling of relief from the pain and tension that had been bothering them for weeks or months.

Will I be sore after being dry needled?

Any soreness felt after a dry needling session is commonly described as the same type of feeling one gets from a good workout at the gym. Luckily, that feeling does not last for very long. In fact, with repeated treatment the incidence of muscle soreness decreases and an overall feeling of wellness and mobility will become the dominant feeling.

How long will my visits take?

We understand that you are busy, which is why we have created treatments that take as little as 20 minutes. Most people find the treatment relaxing, and when time permits they tend to stay as long as 40-60 minutes.

How many visits are necessary for me to heal?

This is a question will be answered by your doctor at the end of your first visit once he has completed a thorough evaluation. The frequency that you receive trigger point therapy is strictly up to your Doctor of Physical Therapy and will vary from person to person depending on the type and severity of their diagnosis. However, just as it is important to regularly see your dentist for proper dental hygiene, so too is it important to take care of your muscles with regular trigger point therapy. Keeping muscles loose and healthy allows for proper function and overall health for your body. Think about it, if your car is important enough to get regular maintenance, shouldn’t your body get the same treatment as well?

Our Physios treat patients primarily through trigger point dry needling although we are also trained in other soft tissue techniques. If at any point your doctor feels that trigger point therapy is contraindicated, he will work with you to make sure that you receive services from an appropriate healthcare provider.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our caring doctors today.

What is Myofascial Pain?

Myofascial pain is one of the most UNDER diagnosed pathologies in medicine. If you have tight “ropey” muscles you are probably experiencing pain due to a trigger point.

What is Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique is a form of manual therapy known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. It is one of many different manual therapy approaches that uses instruments with a specialized form of massage/scraping the skin gently. It is used to treat conditions like plantar fasciitis.

I was in a car accident. Could this be whiplash?

Whiplash is a painful and potentially debilitating condition where your neck literally “whips” back and forth (usually between the headrest and steering wheel.) This can lead to multiple symptoms afterwards like headaches, neck pain, pain that radiates down on or both arms, difficulty concentrating, neck stiffness, nausea, or dizziness.