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Why You Should Try Dry Needling the Next Time You Are In Pain

Can Dry Needling Help Sciatica Pain?

by Peter Batz, PT, DPT, OCS, CMTPT/DN, AIB-VR/CONLeave a Comment

You or somebody you know has probably had an episode of low back pain that radiates into one or both legs. This is commonly referred to as sciatica. The sciatic nerve travels from the low back through the hips, glutes, and down into your lower leg. These symptoms are usually caused by disc involvement at a specific segment of the spine applying pressure to the nerve or a tight muscle a bit farther down the line, compressing the nerve.

So, what is this dry needling thing I’ve heard about? Dry needling uses mono-filament needles (really skinny ones) to target trigger points in muscles that cause tightness and decreased strength. A trigger point is a ball of tight muscle. This ball of muscle has a build of chemicals inside it compared to the rest of your body. This tight ball does not allow the muscle to produce the full potential of its strength. When the needle hits a trigger point, it causes a “twitch response” or a muscle contraction. This is what we want!

Now the question is, “Can dry needling help my sciatica symptoms?” That answer is likely “yes!” Often there is a muscular component to people’s symptoms which is what dry needling looks to address. There are quite a few places where muscle tightness may be causing sciatica symptoms. These areas include the lumbar paraspinal, glutes, and piriformis. By reducing the tightness in these muscles, we can take pressure off the sciatic nerve and allow for better tolerance to exercise, stretching, and other treatments provided by your PT.

Dry needling is a great tool in the management of sciatica, but it is important to work with a physical therapist to keep the symptoms from returning!

Curious about Dry Needling?

Reach out to an Athletico physical therapist! If you feel this is a treatment that may benefit you, contact your nearest Athletico and talk to one of our dry needling trained clinicians to get started. Schedule a Free Assessment today. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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Peter Batz is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in orthopedics, vestibular therapy, headache/TMD, dry needling, ACL rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Peter graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He also completed an orthopedic residency through Evidence in Motion and obtained his Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS). He strives to get his patients back to performing at their peak levels so they can enjoy life to the fullest.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Dry NeedlingPhysical TherapySpecialty Techniqueshow to help your sciaticasciatica

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