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Woman experiencing a bad case of migraine

Can Dry Needle Therapy Offer Relief From Migraines or Headaches?

If you struggle with migraines or tension headaches, you understand just how debilitating they can be. If you feel like you’ve tried everything without much success, dry needling through your Physio may help. At Integrity Physio South Perth, we have extensive experience in dry needling and today we’ll be taking a closer look at how it can offer relief for migraine and headache sufferers.

Dry needling for migraines and tension headaches

Dry needle therapy involves the insertion of fine needles into tight muscle points or tight bands of muscle, also known as ‘trigger points’ to decrease tension in these muscles. With migraines and tension headaches these tight points or ‘trigger points’ are often involved. A ‘trigger point’ can simply be described as sensitive area on the body associated with a muscle and is often described as a lump or a knot in the muscle, which is painful when you place pressure on it.

Although there can be a number of causes for migraines or chronic headaches, muscle tension in various ‘trigger points’ are often a contributing factor.  The most common muscles which could contribute to headaches include the upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, temporalis and masseter. This means that the tight muscles in the neck, shoulders and jaw, not just the head, can contribute to migraines and tension headaches.

Dry needling triggers a ‘twitch’ response, which then releases tension in these muscles and patients can often feel the effects immediately.

A systematic review of the evidence completed in 2014 concluded that although more research is needed, dry needling may be a useful addition to physiotherapy when it comes to managing tension-type headaches (France, Bown, Nowosilskyj et al, 2014).

Assessment through your Physio

Before you start dry needling treatment for your headaches, your Physio will carry out a thorough assessment to ensure that this treatment option is suitable. If you present with migraines or severe headaches, this could be due to a number of causes such as hormonal changes, environmental triggers such as allergies, medications or stress. Following a thorough assessment, a treatment plan can be developed and this may include dry needling if appropriate.

What else can dry needling help with?

There are many other conditions that dry needling may be able to assist with, including:

  •       Acute and chronic back pain
  •       Chronic neck pain
  •       Pelvic girdle pain
  •       Knee osteoarthritis
  •       Lateral elbow pain
  •       Shoulder conditions

At Integrity Physio, we offer dry needling physiotherapy, along with a range of other treatment options, as part of your individualised plan. All of our sessions are 30 minutes to allow enough time for thorough assessment, treatment and any questions you may have. We begin treatment right away from your first consultation. For a personalised experience in our exceptional facilities, make an appointment with one of our Senior Physiotherapists.

For dry needling/acupuncture in South Perth, contact the team at Integrity Physio today on (08) 9368 0458.

Director & Senior Physiotherapist at Integrity Physiotherapy, Leslie Trigg, has over 13 years of experience in clinical practice. He has graduated with a degree in Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology) from Curtin University in 2001 and later completed a Masters of Physiotherapy in 2007. He has tremendous experience in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, neurosurgical and sports physiotherapy. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, listening to music and spending time with his family.