Dry needling, a technique that found its beginnings in the early 1900s, is now an available treatment option at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. Dry needling is a form of therapeutic treatment for the relief of pain. Extremely fine needles are inserted into trigger points of painful knots in muscles to cause them to relax, thus easing pain. PMH Physical Therapist Bevin Saul received intensive training and received certification by KinataCore, in Ashburn, Virginia, in order to offer this important treatment to our patients.

Dry needling is an extremely effective treatment for both acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. Dry Needling increases blood flow, decreases banding, decreases spontaneous electrical activity, and effects biochemical and CNS changes.

Dry needling is not acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine with the goal of balancing energy (Qi). Dry Needling, however, follows evidence-based guidelines to alleviate pain.

Staci Burns was the first patient to receive dry needling in the PMH location. Burns has had dry needling done in other locations outside of Pocahontas County and can speak firsthand of its benefits in treating her neck pain and headaches. Burns’ procedure began with her comfortably lying on a treatment table, with Saul carefully examining her neck and head area. Thin filament needles were inserted at various points while Saul held or massaged a specific muscle.

Burns’ treatment consisted of a total of three needles. She said she did not feel the first two needles at all. The third she likened to a slight bee sting. At the end of her procedure, Saul pointed out that one shoulder was already less tense and sitting lower than the other. Results can sometimes be felt almost immediately. Saul followed up the dry needling with some soft tissue massage work, which she said reinforces the needle work.

Dry needling is not covered by many insurances. But with a desire to make this procedure widely available to our patients, a flat fee of $20 has been established, in addition to any copay a patient may have with insurance. It may take multiple visits to resolve a problem, and it may not be performed at every session. An evaluation is completed at each appointment to ensure the procedure is needed and will be helpful.

To make an appointment or ask questions, please contact PMH’s Rehabilitation Department at 304-799-1015.

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