Can Physical Therapy help treat Neuropathy?
At Rx Rehab, we are dedicated to helping our patients find effective treatments for their pain. If you suffer from neuropathy, you know how frustrating and debilitating this condition can be. While there is no single cure for neuropathy, dry needling is a promising treatment option that may offer relief for some patients.
Dry needling is a technique that involves the insertion of fine needles into trigger points or tight muscles to release tension and reduce pain. While there is limited research on the use of dry needling specifically for neuropathy, some studies suggest that it may be a useful treatment for certain types of pain that can be associated with neuropathy.
For example, a 2016 study found that dry needling was more effective than trigger point manual pressure in reducing pain and disability in patients with chronic neck pain, which can sometimes cause symptoms similar to neuropathy. Similarly, a 2017 study found that dry needling was more effective than a sham intervention in reducing pain and improving function in patients with plantar heel pain, which can sometimes be caused by neuropathy.
At Rx Rehab, we have seen many patients who have found relief from their neuropathy-related pain with dry needling. One patient, who had been experiencing burning and tingling sensations in her feet for several years, was able to reduce her pain significantly after just a few dry needling sessions.
Another patient had nerve damage following a total knee surgery and had numbness and tingling in her knee that made it so she couldn’t kneel down or put weight on the knee. After 4 weeks of dry needling sessions she regained nearly all of her sensation back. See the pictures below to see the progress she had over time. The highlighted areas on her knee where the numb areas which progressively got smaller over time.
Of course, dry needling may not be appropriate for all patients, and it’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with each patient before recommending this treatment option. However, for many patients with neuropathy, dry needling may offer a safe, effective, and drug-free alternative to traditional pain management approaches.
In conclusion, at Rx Rehab, we believe that dry needling is an effective treatment option for neuropathy-related pain. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of this technique, the existing evidence, combined with our own clinical experience, suggests that dry needling may be a valuable tool in the management of neuropathy-related pain. If you are suffering from neuropathy, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our licensed and trained healthcare providers to discuss whether dry needling may be an appropriate treatment option for you.
- Liu L, Huang QM, Liu QG, et al. The effectiveness of dry needling and procaine injection therapies on patients with myofascial pain syndrome. J Pain Res. 2019;12:2095-2103. doi:10.2147/JPR.S204090
- Li Y, Wang R, Li X, Zhang H, Gao Y. Dry needling for patients with neck pain: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2018;8(10):e024058. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024058
- Gaowgzeh RA, Almalty AM, Al-majid SSA. Effectiveness of dry needling versus a classical physiotherapy program in patients with chronic mechanical neck pain: a randomized controlled trial. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017;29(9):1510-1513. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1510
- Cotchett MP, Landorf KB, Munteanu SE. Effectiveness of dry needling and injections of myofascial trigger points associated with plantar heel pain: a systematic review. J Foot Ankle Res. 2010;3:18. doi:10.1186/1757-1146-3-18
- Renan-Ordine R, Alburquerque-Sendín F, de Souza DP, Cleland JA, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C. Effectiveness of myofascial trigger point manual therapy combined with a self-stretching protocol for the management of plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011;41(2):43-50. doi:10.2519/jospt.2011.3504