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7 Types of Pain and Stiffness that Dry Needling Treats (And What You Can Do To Get Relief)

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About the Author

Every month for almost a decade, 100’s of people have worked with or
consulted Jamie Bovay concerning questions about a quick end to their
pain and how to stay active. He is a trusted advisor not only to patients
and athletes, but several fitness and medical companies as well.

Jamie works everyday with people in their 30’s- 50’s on ways to end
their pain and stay active. He writes on various topics around exercise
and sports injuries and frequently lectures on the topic.

While helping patients and athletes he has worked with a wide variety of activity levels
from people who are just getting started with an activity all the way up to Olympic and
Professional athletes and enjoys helping others return to an active lifestyle. He teaches
other medical professionals around the country on rehabilitation topics revolving
around rehabilitation (including Dry Needling).


In this special report, I reveal the 13 Ways to Tell if You Can Train Through Your Shoulder
Injury Without Seeing a Dr. Some of these questions may seem obvious and others not
so much. While they are not the only questions to ask they are a good start. By asking
yourself these questions you may be able to realize if you need to seek out further help.
The simplest advice many times is the best and usually the best place to start. The truth
is without knowing your medical history I cannot know what will work the best for you
and even if I did know the details of the root cause of your pain there are no guarantees
that any one of these questions will definitively rule in or out an injury .

But over my career I have learned how to narrow down what questions can help with
ruling in shoulder or neck pain. But Imagine this…how great would it be if you could
have an answer about your pain and could actually start doing something about it… and
in less than two weeks you could have strategies working for you-giving you back the
sport or activity you love. How great would working out pain free right now feel?

So here is my challenge to you…Read this plan and get to understand how it helps.
Make your adjustments in your life and see what happens.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better and healthier you will feel for
doing so.

7 Types of Pain and Stiffness that Dry Needling Treats (And What You Can Do To Get Relief)

The 7 Types of Pain and Stiffness that Dry Needling Treats are below, so if you don’t
want to know the background you can skip down a bit. However the background
information might help you to understand what it is and how it works. What is Dry
Needling? Dry Needling is performed by a licensed Physical Therapist with specialized
training. The treatment involves inserting a tiny acupuncture needle into a trigger point
of a muscle that is tight or painful. The muscle relaxes leading to rapid movement
improvement and a reduction in your pain.

You likely have heard of acupuncture, but even though this technique uses the same
needles it isn’t acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that
is used to balance the flow of energy or life force – known as chi- that is believed to
flow along specific meridian lines. By inserting the needles into the meridian lines,
acupuncture practitioners believe the flow of life force will rebalance (source Mayo

Dry needling was started by president John F.
Kennedy’s doctor, Dr. Janet Travell and is a western medicine focus on treating the
trigger points within muscles to get rid of pain and improve your movement. Chronically
tight trigger points can cause pain at the location or farther away (think sciatica) or
other referred pain. By targeting these chronically tight trigger points we can restore
your mobility, improve how you move, help you gain strength, and get back to what you
want, need, and love to do.

Medical doctors have been treating trigger points for years by using needles and
injecting liquid medication, usually lidocaine or cortisone. Dry needling does not use
liquid medications, hence the term “Dry”, thus does not have any side effects from the
medications. Unlike cortisone injections, which can only be given limited times due to
the effects on the body, dry needling can be given regularly although when combined
with hands on one on one care and specific exercises you would progress very quickly
and not need dry needling for very long.

OK now that you are a little more aware of the background of dry needling here are
seven types of pain and stiffness that can be treated with with this technique.


Dry Needling works for back pain and/or stiffness by targeting trigger points in the
larger overworked muscles of the back, but also some of the smaller, deeper muscles
that are impossible to reach by other methods. Because of the large number of nerves
and referred pain from the back treating pain in the back with dry needling often leads
to relief of symptoms in other parts of the body such as sciatic pain and tingling or
numbness down the leg.


Dry needling for neck pain and/or stiffness is similar to the treatment given for back
pain, however treatments often include needling of those tight upper traps, and
sometimes include muscles from the shoulder blade that go up into the neck that can
contribute to, or trigger, neck pain.


Dry needling for shoulder pain and/or stiffness can be needed in the shoulder muscles,
rotator cuff, or chest muscles in order to make you move smoother and more efficiently.
This typically makes the shoulder slightly stronger right away and helps with pain,
especially with overhead movements.


There are two main ways that Dry Needling helps headaches:

I. Decreases the tone and tightness of the muscles of the neck which allows you to have
better posture and move like you should be able to. This takes pressure off of the joints,
nerves, and discs which reduces irritation and makes moving easier.

II. Decreases excessive nerve activity: Some of the upper muscles in the neck share the
same nerves as parts of the skull, so relieving tension in these muscles takes pressure off
of the nerves and can relieve symptoms in the head. In many cases, the relief can be felt


Pain in the knee usually has more to do with all of the muscles surrounding the knee
instead of the knee itself. Dry needling for knee pain and/or stiffness aims at reducing
the tension from tight muscles and helping to improve muscle imbalances around the
knee which will take pressure off of the knee and reduce the pain.


Similar to the knee, pain at the ankle many times has to do more with how the calves
and feet muscles are making the foot and ankle move. Dry needling for foot and ankle
pain many times involves working on the calves, foot muscles, and other muscles that
help balance in the lower leg.


Dry needling for hip pain and/or stiffness many times involves both the muscles of your
glutes as well as the muscles on the side of the hip. This helps this ball and socket joint
move smoothly. Improving how the hip moves many times improves issues of the back
and knee as well.


Plantar fasciitis responds well to Physical Therapy intervention. Dry Needling adds a new
dimension to treatment that generally speeds up pain relief and, ultimately, recovery.
Dry needling of muscles in the foot and ankle, both, relieves pain and improves flexibility
removing tension from the areas of pain and allowing them to heal.

What You Can Do To Get Relief

Hopefully by now you can tell that dry needling can be used on a wide variety of injuries,
varying types of pain, and can help almost all body parts move and feel better. When
combined with one on one hands on care and a specific individualized exercise program
tailored for you and your goals you can get back to what you love to do….And FAST.

If you are curious if dry needling might work to relieve your pain and/or stiffness you
can go here and fill out a form to request a FREE 20 minute Phone Call with a physical
therapist. If email works best you can email me directly at
If you are tired of waiting and missing out on life and even more ready to get your life
back on track, as a thank you for reading this report we would like to offer you a FREE 20
minute in person “Discovery Visit” so we can make sure this is something we can help
you with and you can make sure we are a good fit for you. Go here to fill out a form to
request a Free “Discovery Visit”

In the weeks ahead I’ll be sending you even more tips and advice on how to restore your
active and healthy lifestyle and will share with you how physiotherapy can make a huge
difference to your life.

I hope this is the beginning of a great long-term relationship, where myself and the rest
of the team at KinetikChain Denver become your go to source for health and activity
advice for you and make a real difference in your life.

Dedicated to Helping You Live an Active Lifestyle,

Jamie Bovay
Specialist Back Pain Physical Therapist
Denver, CO

KinetikChain Physical Therapy

We Help People In Denver Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active In Their Favorite Sport/Hobby, Continue Exercising, And Get Back To What They Love To Do.


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