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Feeling prickly? Try Dry Needling for your Musculoskeletal Pain

As of April 2019, we are excited to announce that Dry Needling is now within the scope of practice for Chiropractors in Montana! We are pleased to bring this innovative therapy to our patients to assist in making the most of the chiropractic care we provide.  

For those who may be unfamiliar with dry needling, it is the insertion of fine, solid needles (not cactus prickles or porcupine quills....) into muscles to relax them, and reduce pain.  

It's different than acupuncture, in that acupuncture focuses on restoring the flow of Chi, or body energy. Dry needling is more mechanical in focus, aimed at reducing the severity of knots in muscles.  These muscle “knots” are called myofascial trigger points, and refer pain from the knotted point, to other areas when pressed on, or during normal activity and movement. These are a common causes of headache and arm or leg pain referral from the shoulder or hip. 

We are seeing research validate the effectiveness of dry needling for various conditions which cause muscle tightness and knotting. Here are two mechanisms through which dry-needling is proposed to be effective:

  • Stimulation of a Local Twitch Response   

    • Reduced pain can happen due to the stimulation of a muscle phenomenon known as a “local twitch response”. This is an involuntary contraction of the muscle fibers in a tight part of a muscle, which happens when the fine needles are inserted. This twitch response has been shown to reduce inflammatory irritant in the muscle contents near myofascial trigger points.

  • Stimulation of muscle healing

    • The insertion of a needle causes a small trauma to the local area, which triggers the cells responsible for soft tissue healing to travel to the area. These cells then repair the area, and may contribute to the healing and remodeling of the entire muscle knot, or myofascial trigger point. This process takes about 7-10 days after dry needling.  

  • What is it for?

    • plantar fasciitis

      • Pain in the heel first waking up? You may have plantar fasciitis. Get yourself checked out by one of the qualified docs at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic, and let us help reduce your pain.  

    • TMJ 

      • Clicking, pain, and grinding while chewing may be an indication that your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ is not working properly! Dry needling can help to reduce the tightness in the muscles around the TMJ, and resolve these symptoms.  

    • Biceps Tendinopathy

      • sharp pain in the front of the shoulder may be an indication of biceps tendinopathy. Dry needling can help to reduce inflammation around the biceps tendons, and smooth their action, reducing pain.  

    • Trap pain and tension

      • Work a stressful job? Parenting ill tempered children? The pain and tension in the trapezius muscle (muscle between the neck and shoulder) can be alleviated in many cases with dry needling.  


We are very excited to add dry needling to the toolbox of therapies we use to help our patients get out of pain! If you are experiencing pain, we can help. 

Give Bozeman's Choice Chiropractor a call today – 406-551-2177 

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