Dry needling therapy offers respite from pain and medications.
David Campbell had almost resigned himself to a life of chronic pain and a never-ending parade of medications and injections, until Reid Rehab Services in Richmond, Ind., offered new hope through a treatment known as “dry needling.”For Campbell, who injured his back at work in 2010, dry needling provides a level of pain relief he did not think would ever again be possible.The 55-yearold Muncie, Ind., resident had undergone two spinal surgeries and multiple epidural steroid injections, in addition to ongoing physical therapy and pain medication. Still, his pain level was so intense that he could barely function in his day-to-day life.
Today, Campbell makes twice-weekly, 100-mile round trips between Muncie and Richmond in order to secure this cutting-edge therapy that makes it possible for him to sometimes go days with little or no pain. In fact, he has been able to reduce his pain medication and, what little he takes, now works more effectively.
“To go a full day or a couple of days without pain meds, oh my gosh! That was unheard of for me!” Campbell said. “I sometimes have to remind myself that my back hurts. Those days are infrequent but I never thought in a million years there would be almost pain-free days.”
Dry needling is a physical therapy technique that uses fine acupuncture needles to temporarily deactivate pain virtually anywhere in the body, including the spine, legs, arms and feet. Reid is currently the only facility in the region to offer this therapy.
Reid officials explained that dry needling is different from acupuncture, in which needles are inserted superficially into the skin corresponding to a complex network of “meridians,” thought by Chinese medicine to influence the flow of life energy throughout the body. In dry needling, however, therapists use the delicate needles to penetrate deep into muscles, tendons and ligaments, sometimes adding electrical stimulation to enhance healing.
While therapy sessions can sometimes cause discomfort, many patients say the resulting pain relief is significantly better than anything else they have tried. Although David Campbell was initially apprehensive about the therapy, he now finds it possible to fall asleep during the twice-a-week sessions.
During each session, physical therapist Ryan Holliday inserts the acupuncture needles into trigger points deep in the muscle, sometimes adding an electrical impulse.
“I didn’t experience pain relief right away — it was baby steps in the beginning, probably because my pain had been so bad for so long,” Campbell explained. “But after about a month, I started feeling a difference. Now, after a dry needling session, I can feel good for three or four days. That might not seem like a lot, but to me it’s incredible.”
This cutting-edge treatment not only offers physical relief to patients but also the psychological boost of knowing their pain can be minimized or eliminated for a period of time. For Campbell, and many other chronic pain sufferers, it is a chance to revisit the pain-free life they once took for granted.
Reid Rehab offers comprehensive services for patients who want to regain strength and function following an injury or illness. To learn more, call (765) 983-3092.