Severe Pain After Dry Needling

What will I feel during dry needling session? Is It normal to feel pain after the procedure? Typically, needle insertion is not felt; the local twitch response or sudden slight contraction of the muscle may provoke a really quick pain response. This has actually been described as an electric shock or a cramping sensation. A healing reaction occurs with the elicitation of local twitch reactions which is a great and preferable response.

Why Do I feel Severe Pain Right after Dry Needling Session?

During treatment, and depending on the dry needling method used, patients typically experience heaviness in the limbs or an enjoyable feeling or relaxation. Following this strategy some muscle soreness might be felt up to 24-48 hrs. The application of heat or ice depending of the needling site and drinking a lot of fluids normally reduces the discomfort.

What is Dry Needling Trigger Point Injection

Dry Needling includes multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the area of a “Trigger Point’. The objective of Dry Needling is to attain a regional twitch response to launch muscle tension and pain. Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with few side effects. This method is unequalled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and practical deficits.

Is dry needling safe?

Lots of customers report some pain (sometimes sharp or severe pain) in the treated area and referral zone lasting from a few hours to two days. Side effects are very unusual however when they occur, the most frequent and the most serious is that of a pneumothorax. This is where a needle pierces the lung resulting in a full or partial collapse. This takes place mostly when a needle is inserted into the Trapezius muscle in a certain method and too deeply– typically due to bad practitioner technique.

The needle used is very thin and most subjects do not even feel it penetrate the skin. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of this needle. Nevertheless if the muscle is sensitive and reduced or has active trigger points within it, the subject will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp – ‘the twitch reaction’. The patient likewise may feel a reproduction of “their” pain which is a helpful diagnostic sign for the practitioner trying to identify the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Patients quickly learn to recognize and also invite this sensation as it leads to shutting off the trigger point, lowering pain and restoring normal length function to the included muscle.

What to Anticipate After Receiving Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)

How will I feel after a session of TDN?

  • You may feel sore right away after treatment in the area of the body you were treated, this is typical however does not constantly take place. It can likewise take a few hours after or the next day before you feel soreness or severe pain. The soreness may differ depending on the area of the body that was treated as well as differs individual to individual, but generally it feels like you had an intense workout at the health club. Discomfort or pian usually lasts 24-48 hours. If severe pain after dry needling continues beyond this please contact your provider.
  • It is common to have bruising after treatment; some areas are more likely than others. Some common areas are shoulders, base of neck, head and face, limbs. Big bruising hardly ever occurs, however can. Use ice to assist decrease the bruising and if you feel concern please call your carrier.
  • It is common to feel tired, upset, psychological, giggly or “loopy”, and/or somewhat “out of it” after treatment. This is a typical response that can last up to an hour or more after treatment. If this lasts beyond a day call your company as a preventative measure.
  • There are times when treatment might actually make your normal symptoms worse. This is normal. If this continues past the 24 hour – 48 hour window, keep note of it, as this is handy info and your service provider will then adjust your treatment strategy based upon your report if required. This does not indicate TDN can not help your condition.

What should I do after treatment, what can I do, and what should I prevent?

  • It is extremely recommended that you increase your water intake for the next 24 hours after treatment to assist avoid soreness.
  • It is advised that you take in a hot bath or jacuzzi to help avoid post treatment soreness.
  • After treatment you may do the following based upon your convenience level, if it hurts or worsens your symptoms then stop:
    • Work out and/or stretch.
    • Massage the area.
    • Use a heating pad.
    • Avoid ice unless you are icing a bruise, heat is much better for muscle soreness.
    • Drink alcohol, but it is suggested you do refrain from doing so excessively.
    • Take Tylenol, Ibuprofin/Motrin, aspirin, etc. is OK.

Last modified: April 8, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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