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Published on November 22, 2016

'Dry Needling' Therapy Cuts Cancer Survivor's Chronic Pain in Half

Dry Needing

“Dry needling” is the odd-sounding name of a physical therapy treatment that Kizzie Person is very thankful for. It cut her chronic pain in half and helped her do more of the activities involved in raising three growing boys.

Kizzie’s pain story begins with a diagnosis of breast cancer in March 2011. She was treated with chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and then radiation therapy to ensure that the cancer was eliminated.

Dry Needling

Therapist Lawrie Beardsley uses 'dry needling'
to relieve Kizzie Person's chronic pain.

Cancer treatments save lives, of course, but sometimes have unintended consequences. After Kizzie’s treatment, she developed a swelling condition called lymphedema. This made her arm feel heavy and difficult to lift. Although the swelling was treated, over time her shoulder got stiff and painful. She also had migraine headaches. Lots of things were tried for the pain, including a variety of medications and physical therapy.

But it wasn’t until she was referred to a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment called “dry needling” that she really saw improvement. The treatment involves inserting long flexible needles into tight muscles and trigger points. That doesn’t sound like much fun, but Kizzie will tell you that it is. As a result of the dry needling and some hands-on techniques the therapists use, Kizzie’s pain rating was cut in half from an 8 to a 4 on a 10-point scale.

Kizzie says her neck and shoulders used to be “stiff as a brick,” but not anymore. She is sitting up straighter, with less pain, and is able to lift her arms up and do more things. In short, she is now living her best following cancer treatment, thanks to this therapy with the prickly-sounding name that might better be called just plain relief!

If you’re interested in exploring dry needling as a therapy for yourself or someone you know, please contact us at 336-271-4840 and ask to speak to Lawrie or Stacy. Dry needling is available at several of our Outpatient Rehab Center locations.

Patient Stories