Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) is a highly effective form of Physical Therapy for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions.

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How does it work?

IDN is not acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine).  IDN is based on neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.  A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues that are considered trigger points to your pain.  Dry needling works by causing a micro-lesion within the pathological tissue thus breaking up shortened tissue, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain.  This mechanical and neuromuscular effect provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal with ultimately reduces pain.

What conditions can be treated?

Conditions include, but are not limited to, neck, back and shoulder pain, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer’s elbow), headache to include migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain and leg pain (sciatic, hamstring strains, calf tightness/spasms).  It can also be used to treat general well-being.

IDN can also be used for prevention of injuries, performance optimization, de-stressing of overtraining, treatment of soft tissue contusions, strains/sprains, and for post-surgical rehabilitation.

How can IDN be used for sport performance?

IDN will optimize physical performance by (a) reducing biomechanical and physical stress during the pre-symptom stage, (b) prevent chronic soft tissue injuries and some acute injuries, and (c) provide treatments for conditions such as overtraining stress by de-regulating the nervous system.  For sports performance, dry needling has been shown to be most effective prior to injury or pain.


Is the procedure painful?

The fine filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible, which allows for the needle to be pushed through the skin versus cutting the skin.  This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure.  We strive to make the treatment virtually painless, however, at times a local twitch response of that muscle may be felt.  When the needle is inserted into the pathological tissue, the local twitch response sensation is normal and is felt only momentarily.  Many patients describe this twitch response as a little electric shock, cramp or an ache sensation.  These sensations are perfectly normal and even a desirable response.  Your PT will make every effort to make your experience comfortable and therapeutic.

How many treatments will I need?

This will depend on the category you fit in, which is determined by the state of the injury and your overall health.  Remember, we are attempting to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without pharmacological means.  Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to break the pain cycle.  Your PT will be able to give you more insight after your evaluation.

Is IDN covered by insurance?

At this time, IDN is not covered by insurance.  We currently charge $25 per 15-20 minute session.  Rates are subject to change.

Please contact Casey Baczewski, DPT, at for more information.

All information is provided by Dr. Ma’s Integrative Dry Needling.