What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling acupuncture is a special technique using sterile, fine filament needles (much like chinese acupuncture), which are inserted into the muscle to reduce pain and improve function by the release of trigger points. Dry needle therapy aims to relieve muscle pain through relaxing trigger points, also known as knots. Muscles can develop trigger points through poor posture, general day to day loading and repetitive use which may also refer pain to other areas, including into the head causing headaches.
Dry needling therapy involves a needle being gently inserted into the muscular trigger point and is gently manipulated. After a short period of time, the needle is removed. The aim is to relax the muscle and reduce the pain and discomfort. If done well it can be very effective.
Dry needle therapy is very safe. There may be a slight ache when a needle is inserted into a trigger point, however, most patients don’t feel anything. Some people feel tired after a dry needling session, however, there are no lingering effects for the majority of patients.
Dry Needling and Acupuncture
Acupuncture and dry needling are similar but are not the same. Acupuncture focuses on restoring the flow of Qi (energy) using meridians (key points on the body) to restore balance in the body. On the other hand, dry needling aims to reduce pain and restore function through the release of myofascial trigger points in the muscles.
Myofascial Trigger Points
A myofascial trigger point is a group of muscle fibres that have become shorter when activated and were unable to lengthen back to their relaxed state. These trigger points are a very common cause of pain and can create “referred pain”. Referred pain means that the trigger point in one muscle causes pain in another area.
How Myofascial Trigger Points Form
There are many ways a trigger point can form, some of these can occur as a result of:
- Repetitive overuse injuries
- Poor posture
- Muscle tension
- Heavy lifting
- Prolonged inactivity
The Benefits of Dry Needling
Dry needling physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for many conditions such as back pain, tennis elbow, sciatic nerve pain, headaches, muscle tightness, stress, nerve pain, strains and many more. The benefits of dry needling include:
- Improving blood flow
- Releasing knots in the muscles
- Creating relaxation
- Reducing pain
- Muscle stimulation
Dry needling often doesn’t take very long to show benefits. Many patients respond positively almost immediately, while some may take a couple of days to feel the benefits. In general, several sessions may be needed to provide long-lasting benefits, and for the muscle to resume to its normal function.
Dry needling is a very effective and safe way of providing relief from many conditions which cause pain and reduce mobility. Dry needling can help with many common conditions such as back pain, neck pain, muscle tightness, injuries and headaches. For more information about acupuncture South Perth or whether or not dry needling is a suitable treatment option for you, contact Integrity Physio and our qualified staff will be more than happy to discuss your treatment options.