Can Dry Needling Help Peripheral Neuropathy

Common associated symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness, tingling, burning, or even total loss of sensory function. These sensory changes can lead to limitations within activities of daily living, balance, gait mechanics, as well as overall quality of life. If peripheral neuropathy is not from Diabetes Mellitus, then the solutions to treatment are less concise and usually are medications aimed at managing symptoms.

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Symptoms in the legs can include:

  • Burning sensation

  • Increased Warming sensation

  • Balance disturbances

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is a complex disease process with many uncertainties, and as a result, conventional treatment approaches may not resolve patient symptoms and restore function.

Physical therapy management for peripheral neuropathy comprises patient education, manual therapy directed at improving joint mobility, neural mobilizations, Dry Needling, ergonomic assessment, strengthening, stretching and modalities.

If typical approaches in physical therapy do not improve, a dry needling approach addressing neural and fasical restrictions down the limb into the painful areas can be an option. Peri-neural dry needling into myofascial trigger points in combination of neurodynamic exercises have been shown to be an effective approach in a 2019 case report.

In addition to improve strength and balance, any neural and vascular impairments can improve with dry needling treatment to specific regions of the body, which could help with sensory and motor function.

The conclusion from this study and from our own clinical research shows that dry needling treatment in patients with idiopathic peripheral neuropathy helps to mitigate sensory impairments and to potentially improve upon neural and vascular function. This can then help with pain, strength losses, balance disturbances and overall improvement in quality of life.