Frequently Asked Questions

When one is referred to Physical Therapy they are evaluated and a treatment plan is established which may include Functional Dry Needling (FDN). FDN is an effective adjunct to traditional physical therapy to help manage pain and restore movement and function.

What is Dry Needling?
The sensation of the needle in the tissue is described most commonly as a mild cramping to a deep ache. Many patients report no discomfort or sensation at all. Dry Needling involves introducing a fine filiform needle into the muscle believed to be involved with the patient’s dysfunction or pain. Dry Needling has a local effect but also may be used to affect referred muscular pain, improve tissue blood flow, mitigate pain chemicals and influence the nervous system to reduce sensitization from an injury or a chronic problem.

What does Dry Needling feel like?
The sensation of the needle in the tissue is described most commonly as a mild cramping to a deep ache. Many patients report no discomfort or sensation at all. Once in the target tissue the therapist is seeking a local twitch response where the muscle involuntarily contracts. The degree of this varies from individual to individual but only lasts momentarily. Any other sensation can be explained by your therapist

What will I feel like following Dry Needling?
You should have some relief from the symptoms that brought you to physical therapy. Subsequent to Dry Needling patients may also commonly feel tired, the muscles involved may feel a muscle soreness like you exercised at the gym and mild discomfort. These generally resolve in less than 24-48 hours. It is important to drink plenty of water following Dry Needling and follow your HEP.

Common Conditions treated with Dry Needling:
Back and Neck pain
Headaches
Joint pain
Muscle spasms
Muscle strains

Is Dry Needling safe? Yes.
Practitioners are well trained licensed Physical Therapists by the Iowa board of Physical and Occupational Therapy. Practitioners have also been trained and certified to practice Dry Needling via post graduate course work. Safety standards are strictly adhered to regarding cleanliness and use of sterile needles.

Is Dry Needling the same thing as acupuncture? No.
The needles used are essentially the same. However, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine involving the insertion of needles along specific acupoints and meridians including the ear. The point is to balance forces between Yin and Yang that produce the body’s chi. Dry Needling applies needles to specific tissue responsible for driving neuromuscular dysfunction to restore neuromotor dysfunction.

Does insurance cover Dry Needling?
Very few if any insurances including Medicare cover Dry Needling. This treatment will most likely be an out of pocket expense and due at the time of service. Sessions that involve Dry Needling will be $35.00 for 1-2 muscles and $45.00 for 3 or more muscles.

To learn more, call (641) 622-1180 and ask to speak with Brian Peterson, PT, Cert MDT, Therapy Services Manager.