Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis in medicine, is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, resulting in a limited range of motion and functional impairment. It can have a significant impact on daily activities and overall quality of life. While there are numerous treatment options available, dry needling has emerged as an effective intervention for treating frozen shoulder. This blog post will discuss the role of dry needling in restoring range of motion in frozen shoulder, including its benefits, techniques, and considerations.
Frozen Shoulder: What You Need to Know
Frozen shoulder happens when the capsule around the shoulder joint thickens and tightens, causing inflammation and adhesions within the joint. Although the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, it is frequently associated with factors such as trauma, immobility, diabetes, and certain medical conditions. Pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion are common symptoms that progress through three distinct stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing.
The Function of Dry Needling:
Dry needling is a therapeutic technique in which fine needles are inserted into trigger points, tight bands of muscle, or connective tissue to relieve pain, release tension, and restore function. Dry needling focuses on specific muscles and tissues surrounding the shoulder joint to address pain, release muscular tension, and improve range of motion in the context of frozen shoulder. It works by promoting tissue remodeling and stimulating the body’s natural healing response.
The Advantages of Dry Needling for Frozen Shoulder:
- Pain Relief: Dry needling can provide significant pain relief for people who have frozen shoulder. It reduces muscle tension, relieves pain, and promotes relaxation by targeting trigger points and tight muscles associated with shoulder dysfunction.
- Improved Range of Motion: Restoring range of motion is one of the primary goals of dry needling in frozen shoulder treatment. The needles increase local blood flow, relieve muscular tension, and promote muscle relaxation, all of which can lead to increased flexibility and joint mobility.
- Muscle Strengthening: Frozen shoulder frequently causes muscle weakness and imbalances. Dry needling stimulates and strengthens the affected muscles, resulting in improved muscle function and coordination. This can help with shoulder stability and overall movement.
- Facilitated Healing: Dry needling promotes the body’s natural healing response by increasing endorphin release, improving blood circulation, and stimulating tissue regeneration. This can aid in the healing of the inflamed and adhesive structures of the shoulder joint.
Dry Needling Techniques for Frozen Shoulder:
- Trigger Point Release: Trigger points are hyperirritable areas of muscle that can cause pain and restrict movement. Dry needling can be used to target these trigger points, releasing tension, increasing blood flow, and decreasing pain.
- Muscle Spindle Stimulation: Dry needling can stimulate muscle spindles, which are sensory receptors located within the muscle that provide information about muscle length and tension. This stimulation aids in the resetting and improvement of muscle function.
- Motor Point Stimulation: Motor points are specific areas of the muscle where the nerve innervates it. Dry needling at motor points can improve neuromuscular function, muscle activation, and coordination.
Precautions and Considerations:
While dry needling Durham NC is generally thought to be safe, it is critical to seek treatment from a qualified and trained healthcare professional, such as a licensed physical therapist. Some considerations and precautions are as follows:
- Individual Evaluation: Before beginning dry needling treatment, each patient’s condition should be thoroughly evaluated. To ensure safe and effective treatment, the severity of frozen shoulder, the presence of other shoulder pathologies, and the patient’s overall health should all be considered.
- Needle Insertion: Dry needling is a technique that involves inserting fine needles into the targeted tissues. To avoid vital structures and maximize therapeutic benefit, the depth and location of needle insertion should be carefully determined.
- Patient Sensitivity: Some people are more sensitive than others to dry needling. The healthcare provider must communicate with the patient throughout the treatment process, adjusting the intensity of needling based on the patient’s level of comfort.
- Post-Treatment Care: It is common to experience temporary soreness or bruising at the needling sites after dry needling. Post-treatment care measures such as applying ice or heat, gentle stretching exercises, and rest may be recommended by healthcare providers.
Dry needling is a promising treatment for frozen shoulder because it targets specific muscles and tissues that cause pain, tightness, and limited range of motion. When performed by a trained professional, this technique can provide pain relief, improve range of motion, improve muscle function, and aid in the healing process. If you have frozen shoulder symptoms, speak with a qualified healthcare provider to see if dry needling is a viable treatment option for you, learn more about NC Center for PT. Individuals with frozen shoulder can take significant steps toward restoring range of motion, reducing pain, and regaining functional abilities in their shoulder joint by incorporating dry needling into a comprehensive treatment plan.