Dry Needling and Cold Laser: Silver Bullets for Pain

My focus during treatments is to identify and address the physical and chemical imbalances in the body that are impeding its ability to heal. Two therapies that have been essential to my patients’ health improvements are dry needling and cold laser therapy. Dry needling and cold laser are extremely safe, non-invasive, and effective in helping to resolve or manage local and systemic health complaints. These therapies become even more effective when combined with the other treatments that our office is better known for. Some recent successes have been with arthritis, headaches, TMJ pain, shoulder pain, and athletic injuries.

Both dry needling and cold laser are effective because they balance the body locally and systemically. Locally, dry needling induces injured tissue remodeling via local reduction of physical stress (soft tissue tension), reduction of physiologic stress (local inflammation), and replacement of injured tissues with fresh new tissues of the same type. Locally, cold laser improves microcirculation, which brings more oxygen to the injured area and allows for drainage of inflammatory chemicals out of the area.

Systemically, dry needling has the same effects on the body as traditional acupuncture due to its ability to restore balance and activate the self-healing mechanisms of the body. Cold laser can be used systemically to balance the function of the nervous system. A good example is an ankle sprain. When you sprain your ankle you tend to favor the healthy ankle while the injured ankle heals. By favoring the healthy ankle, the balance component of the nervous system for the injured ankle is stimulated less than the healthy ankle. Over time the nervous system connection from the balance sensors in the injured ankle to the spinal cord and brain weakens. This leads to uneven sensory stimulation from the two ankle joints leading to improper movement patterns that can impede healing and cause more stress on the body. The cold laser can be used to stimulate the sensory nerves of the weak ankle to insure balance in the nervous system. This helps restore normal input and output from the brain and spinal cord after an injury (old or new) allowing the body to return to a balanced healthy state.

Dry needling and cold laser stimulate beneficial local and system-wide physiologic processes in the body. This can improve the outcome of the treatments by stimulating healing in the body. It is important to remember that neither therapy treats any specific disease, but due to their system-wide effects many health problems improve after these therapies. Efficacy and number of treatments varies depending on the severity of the condition and the overall health of the patient. The majority (approximately 80%) of patients will see either elimination of their pain or a significant reduction in their pain with 1-2 treatments per week for 6-8 weeks on average. With the addition of advanced applied kinesiology and nutritional balancing the therapies can be even more effective. Both therapies can also be used to help maintain wellness and balance in the body as part of a regular health regimen.

Posted on January 27, 2015 .