Dry Needling and Groin Pain
Groin pain is a common occurrence that can be caused by overexerting muscles or tendons in the lower extremities. These injuries cause inflammation, bruising and swelling that can make daily tasks and sports challenging. Dry needle therapy, an approach used by physical therapists and athletic trainers to treat and reduce these problems, has become more popular over recent years.
A trained therapist can administer dry needle treatment to various parts of the body to reduce pain and increase mobility. This method works great for relieving tightness and stiffness caused by muscle weakness, improper movement patterns, injuries or post-surgical recovery.
Your therapist will take your vitals and inquire about your symptoms and lifestyle before determining the most suitable dry needling technique. This could involve inserting needles into trigger points and tender spots on your skin, or inserting them directly into muscles for an in-and-out technique.
When the therapist inserts the needle, you may experience a brief twitch in the treated area that lasts a few seconds. This is known as the “local twitch response” (LTR), which occurs when they stimulate and release tension within muscles through needle stimulation.
A trigger point is a localized knot of tissue within muscles that contracts, stays contracted and causes pain. Prolonged contraction may also sensitize nearby nerves and send referred pain elsewhere in the body.
Trigger point treatment involves inserting thin needles into your muscle and fascia (connective tissue covering most of the body) directly into knotted areas to break down these knots, relax muscles and improve circulation.
The therapist may leave needles in your muscle or muscles for a period of time – sometimes up to 45 minutes – depending on your needs and the severity of the injury. After this has been completed, they are carefully removed and disposed of appropriately.
Your therapist will apply pressure and rub the skin and tissue, stimulating the muscle to contract and release. This is an efficient and effective technique that will provide immediate relief.
According to Dr. Thomas Perreault’s recent APTA resource paper, “the primary benefit of Dry Needling is its rapid restoration of normal muscular function. This can be accomplished by relieving pain and stiffness while increasing mobility and range of motion.”
Many patients report immediate relief in their pain levels after their first treatment session. Furthermore, many experience increased flexibility and range of motion as a result of the therapeutic relationship.
After their initial session, many patients report feeling either pain or stiffness in the treated area. It’s not uncommon to observe some bruising around this area but usually not painful; you will only notice it if you move it or are lifting heavy weights.
Dry needling has long-lasting effects when performed regularly by an experienced provider. To get the full benefits of this treatment, start with multiple sessions spaced out over several weeks for maximum benefit.