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Stressed on the Job: Dry needling

It's kind of like acupuncture, but it's just gained popularity in the last few years.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — If you work an office job or you're out in the field, you may have experienced a headache or pain.

While you might be able to tackle it with an aspirin, if the pain persists, it's probably time to look at different types of treatment that actually targets the problem at the source.

Emily Turner's been in law enforcement for over a decade. She's putting in plenty of work on the job, and also at ATI physical therapy.

Turner is active and spends time in the field, on the desk and in the car as a cop. But she struggled staying focused on tasks.

After other physical therapy efforts failed, Turner turned to a new procedure involving needles similar to the ones used in acupuncture.

It's called dry needling, but it's a little different.

Jeff Richard is the clinic director at ATI. He says dry needling has been around a while, but has caught on in the last couple years.

Both acupuncture and dry needling use thin, stainless steel needles. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling only targets trigger points, knots or tight points in the muscle, to relieve pain.

"Get away from thinking that the needle's going to hurt," said Turner. "The release of that pressure from your muscle is worth the needle going inside."

Therapists say you can be inflicting pain on your body and not even know it. The way you sit, the way you walk, the way you perform daily functions all have an impact.

Experts recommend combining dry needling with other forms of physical therapy because it's not a fix on its own. But it does have benefits.