Does size really matter? Now, of course, we are talking about dry needling here! Does the size of the needle used in dry needling really make a difference on its effectiveness? Here at Imagine Physical Therapy, we incorporate dry needling (the use of needles to release muscle trigger points or “knots”) into many of our patients’ plan of care. Let’s be honest – most of us aren’t extremely comfortable being pricked with large, menacing needles. But what about the thin, unassuming needles that we use here at Imagine – are they just as beneficial? According to the research, yes!
Research journals are full of articles that indicate that smaller diameter needles (.2, .25, and .3 mm needles), like the ones we use in our clinic, are very effective in their treatment of various diagnoses. They can be used to treat plantar fasciitis, low back pain, carpal tunnel, neck and shoulder pain, and knee osteoarthritis, just to name a few. While there is limited evidence that bigger needles may tend to provide somewhat better results, the evidence is clear – small needles can give big results. So why not stop by for a little prick? The therapists here at Imagine Physical Therapy offer a multifaceted approach (exercise, stretching, ultrasound, and, of course, dry needling) to help you reach your full physical potential.
Trust me, as a former needle-phobe, I had my reservations about dry needling. But when, after some convincing, I decided to take the plunge, I realized that my shoulder pain was gone – along with my fear of needles! The therapists here are very knowledgeable and professional and will do their best to ensure your safety, comfort, and rehabilitation.
So, does size matter? Well I guess it depends on who you ask. As for me, give me a #leetleneedle and some physical therapy, and I’ll be just fine!
Zhang, SP., Yip, T-P., and Li, Q-S. (2011). Acupuncture Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Six Months Follow-Up. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol. 2011, Article ID 154108, 10 pages.
Cherkin, D., Sherman, K., Avins, A. (2009). A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med, 169(9):858-866.
Khoswari, S., Moghtaderi, A., Haghighat, S. (2012). Acupuncture in Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 17(1):1-7.
He, D., Veiersted, K., Hostmark, A., Medbo, J. (2004). Effect of Acupuncture Treatment on Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain in Sedentary Female Workers: a 6-month and 3-year follow-up study. Pain Journal, 109(3):299-307.
Berman, B., Lao, L., Langenberg, P., Lee, W., Gilpin, A., Hochberg, M. (2004). Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med, 141:901-210.
Wang, G., Gao, Z., Li, J., Tian, Y., Hou, J. (2016). Impact of Needle Diameter on Long-Term Dry Needling Treatment of Chronic Lumbar Myofascial Pain Syndrome. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 95 (7), 483–494.