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Functional Dry Needling

Why is a Physical Therapist playing with needles?

This is exactly the question Northern Physical Therapy’s Matt Breton, MPT, OCS, CSCS, asked himself as he entered his first day of the Functional Dry Needling (FDN) course that he attended in Atlanta, GA, in early June 2014. However, after 27 hours of intensive hands-on education (during which he was needled plenty himself), he understood its incredible effectiveness on both acute and chronic conditions.

 

What Functional Dry Needling Is

Functional Dry Needling (FDN) is a hands-on, invasive therapy for treating myofascial trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are extremely irritated, small sections of muscle, located in a taut band that is painful to touch. If you’ve had massage, you might have heard them referred to as “knots.

The tool is a sterile, disposable solid filament needle with no injectable solution and is typically very thin.  A patient will undergo an initial Physical Therapy exam and FDN will be considered as one possible treatment.  Functional Dry Needling is used primarily in the treatment of pain in muscles and connective tissue.  FDN addresses referred pain, meaning the pain is felt in a different region from where it originated.  During treatment a solid filament needle is inserted into trigger points.

The result of FDN is a local twitch response which can cause positive local changes and increased blood flow.

 

What Functional Dry Needling is not

FDN is not painful. Matt, who we mentioned has been needled a lot, describes FDN as “virtually painless” and “more interesting” than anything else. FDN is not acupuncture. Compared to acupuncture (a traditional, holistic medicine), FDN (specifically used to treat the musculoskeletal system) is considered a leading edge practice. This is because FDN treatment involves not only a practitioner’s highly trained touch, but also analysis, diagnosis and monitoring.

 

Should I give it a try?

With a few exceptions, almost anyone can be needled safely and the effects are impressive. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us by email or call (802) 626-4224. We look forward to working with you.