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New therapy provides pain relief for tight, sore muscles

Whether recovering from an injury or dealing with everyday aches, tight muscles can be a pain in the neck. Functional dry needling is a new therapeutic
treatment that stimulates twitches to provide pain relief.
“Functional dry needling involves inserting a very thin needle into a trigger point, a small knot or painful area in a muscle to stimulate a small
twitch,” said Matt Holland, a Houston Methodist physical therapist. “The twitch can help release tight muscles and decrease pain.”
Functional dry needling is based on assessing deficits in the musculoskeletal system and treating the trigger points or taut bands associated with those
deficits. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, such as sprains or strains, to provide pain relief. Common treatment areas are the neck,
shoulder, hip, quadriceps, foot, and ankle, but any muscle with a trigger point can be treated with functional dry needling.
Functional dry needling has also become a popular treatment with athletes, including the Houston Texans.
“This is a great tool for athletes to decrease muscle soreness, increase muscle function and increase flexibility,” said Geoff Kaplan, Houston Texans
director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer. “The research behind functional dry needling proves the benefit from a chemical, physiological, and
anatomical response, but the biggest reason we use it regularly with our players is because they feel significantly better after you do it.”
Kaplan adds that their soreness has decreased, their pain has decreased, and their function has improved. During peak training times, he says they will
dry needle anywhere from 10-20 players per day.

Source Newsroom: Houston Methodist



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