JANESVILLE (WKOW) — Instead of relying on narcotics for pain management, Mercyhealth is using a new up and coming treatment tool: needles.
“Does that feel better to you Betsy?” Mercyhealth Physical Therapist Jennifer Nettesheim asks her patient, Betsy Johnson, stretched out on her tummy. Betsy nods and Nettesheim pulls out an acupuncture needle. She pokes the small of her upper back a few times until there is relief.
“I try and feel for that hotspot,” she explained. “We go right into that muscle and it can help release a lot of tension and pain, and be able to improve their overall function with the treatment,” she said.
Johnson needs needling for chronic upper back and neck pain. “It does work,” she said. The treatment keeps her from needing something stronger for pain treatment.
“It was instant, as she puts the needle in you, you feel a pinch, the muscle twitches, then it just kind of let’s go,” Johnson said.
The process takes just a few minutes and unlike acupuncture only uses a needle or two. Nettesheim says the only similarity with acupuncture really is the needle they use. Acupuncture she says focuses on eastern medicine, moving the chi energy around the body; whereas, dry needling focuses on the neuromuscular system to give muscles relief.
“It’s almost like if you reboot a computer, those muscles just have to be restored to their normal function,” Nettesheim said.
The cost for dry needling is covered by many insurance plans, but out of pocket, expect to pay around $90.
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