SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Whether it's sports injuries or muscle spasms, physical therapy is a standard method of treating patients. But another therapy gaining popularity in the lake area is dry needling.
If you don't like needles - this may not be for you.
"I have been sitting behind a desk for almost 30 years - with that came a neck issue, as well as in my muscles and my shoulders," said Christine Doucet, who is undergoing dry needing therapy.
Doucet is looking for relief.
"I couldn't turn my head without turning my entire body, as well as my shoulders," she said.
While regular physical therapy helped, she turned to something else.
"So the needles we use are sterile," said Reba Desonier, physical therapist with Lake Charles Memorial Outpatient Rehabilitation.
Desonier says the name "dry needling" frightens some.
"The needle part absolutely scares people but the good thing to know is that these needles are much smaller than diabetes and again they are solid. So when they pass through the muscle belly into the tissue they don't shred the tissue like your typical needle does, they just pass through the tissue," she said.
Desonier feels for the tightness in Doucet's muscle.
"And we apply the needle, and we insert it into the muscle tissue just like that," she said as she treated Doucet's shoulders.
Doucet said it's pain-free - in fact, she can feel it working instantly.
You can actually see the muscle move - Desonier said that's what she's looking for.
"Things can get kind of twisted and turned around in there, so things are overlapped and crunched twisted together. and so what happens is the needle goes into the muscle - this causes the muscle to twitch, respond to that needle and the idea is that things will lay back down natural and even and smooth and long again," she said.
While the treatment is new this year at Memorial's Outpatient Rehabilitation, Desonier said dry needling is being used to treat all sorts of muscular issues.
"We can treat shoulders, we can treat abdominal muscles, gluteal muscles, leg, foot, hand, top to bottom," she said.
And for patients like Doucet, with just a few treatments, she said it's working.
"I'm better," she said.