(EFFINGHAM, IL) – HSHS St. Anthony’s Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness continues to advance the therapies offered to assist people struggling with pain and tension issues. One of the newest therapies that they have begun offering is Trigger Point Dry Needling, also called Dry Needling.
Trigger Point Dry Needling is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in muscles, fascia (connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles, bones and internal organs) and other connective tissues. The therapy involves using a very thin, monofilament needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, which are hyperirritable spots in the connective tissue surrounding skeletal muscles. As the name implies, “Dry Needling” does not include injecting any type of medication or solution into the body.
Dry Needling can be used to treat a number of conditions including, but not limited to:
- Tension Headaches
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff or Impingement Syndrome
- Low Back Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Hamstring/Groin Pain
- Knee Pain/Tendonitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Heel Pain
To provide Dry Needling therapy services requires additional training for orthopedic physical therapists. Jon Frohning, PT, DPT OCS, ATC, a board certified orthopedic physical therapist at HSHS St. Anthony’s Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness, has achieved this training and has found it to be an extremely helpful addition to help treat injuries to muscles, tendons, and joints.
Frohning explained, “Dry Needling is often compared to acupuncture because they use the same tool, but the two are not the same. There are many differences in the philosophy, rationale, and use in treatment of Dry Needling versus Acupuncturists. The only similarity is that they both use the same type of needle” he said. “According to the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, acupuncture is based on preserving ancient theories, principles, and tenets of traditional Chinese medicine. The performance of modern Dry Needling by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.”
A typical fear that some people have involving needles is “does it hurt?” Frohning answered this question by sharing, “When the needle enters the skin, it is usually unnoticed but when the target trigger point is stimulated, some discomfort is common and described as a deep, aching or cramping sensation. Following the treatment, patients may be sore for about a day but may experience immediate improvement in range-of-motion and strength, as well as a decrease in their original pain.”
This new therapy has already been used to help some patients, including Carol Gapsis of Effingham. She has been having therapy sessions at HSHS St. Anthony’s Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness for a couple months, due to spasms she developed in the base of her neck and shoulders. She describes it as knots that are tight in her neck, shoulders and up the back of her head. After trying to self-treat with heat and over-the-counter medication, she went to her physician who prescribed pain relievers and sent her to physical therapy.
Gapsis has therapy services twice a week at St. Anthony’s Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness located at the Workman’s Sports and Wellness Complex. While she was seeing some relief with ASTYM therapy offered there, which regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and removes unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions, it wasn’t until she began having Dry Needling therapy that she found the relief she was looking for. “I have had the Dry Needling therapy three times so far, in those cases where the spasm is most severe. It provides instant relief of the pain, and releases the tension and tightness. I am so glad that I can get this kind of treatment locally.”
In order to have Dry Needling therapy services, a physician’s referral is required, typically from your family practitioner. St. Anthony’s accepts most insurances and your insurance benefits can be checked before your evaluation. For questions or more information about how you may benefit from Dry Needling therapy, contact HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness located at the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex at 1301 North Maple Street in Effingham, at (217) 347-1243. More information can also be found on HSHS St. Anthony’s web site at stanthonyshospital.org.
HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.
***Press release courtesy of HSHS St Anthony’s Memorial Hospital***