Over a year after surgery, I got new pain in the area of the surgical site. I thought it would be better, but it was a nagging awful pain, though different than pre-surgery pain.
At some point, after trying many things with no improvement, the physical therapist started dry needling on me, mainly in the surgical area but avoiding the hardware and spine. Sometimes she put the needles in my upper back areas, as well. The needles were to help loosen the muscles in the areas of tightness that were causing the pain. Sometimes she added electric stimulation to the needles as well.
Dry needling is like acupuncture on steroids – acupuncture is a shallow insertion, but dry needling pushes the needle further into the muscle, though not deep. It helps loosen the muscles along with massage after, to work the muscles and promote fiber direction.
If you decide on trying dry needling, make sure the person is qualified and trained, so there is not a bad poke or unsanitary set-up. My therapist was experienced and knowledgeable. She was able to make sure my back got safe dry needling and we made a lot of progress after some sessions. I was able to finally touch my toes, so my mobility improved.
I quit the dry needling once I could touch my toes, and now we work on more types of stretching to get the mobility further progressed. Dry needling allowed me to bring more mobility and work off tight muscles. I do recommend it for tight muscles or whatever your therapist might recommend.