Most people would run for the hills when they hear the word needle an even more so when those needles are about to enter their skin. Most experiences that require the use of tiny, sharp metal sticks are usually not pleasant ones. Unless we’re talking about dry needling at ACE Health Centre!
Dry needling, also known as myofascial trigger point treatment, is the next big thing, used around the world when it comes to pain management and pain reduction. If that sounds all a little too scientific for you then read on! Our head podiatrist, Mike Luker took the time to write down a few notes for our patients to explain what dry needling is and what it does for those who experience some form or arches and pains in their body.
What is it?
Dry needling is the process of inserting a thin filament needle into the muscle trigger points, tendons, fascia, ligaments, etc. This helps in stimulating the healing process of the soft tissue and results in pain relief and reduction in muscle tension.
Is it painful?
No, dry needling isn’t painful. Yes, the needles are inserted in the skin, but the needles are so thin that it’s usually a pretty gentle and pleasant kind of treatment. Some people might feel a brief local twitch response or mild pain sensation such as tingling, cramping or cramping sensation but compare to those needles at the dentist or doctor, it’s a walk in the park.
Dry needling VS Acupuncture
Dry needling is often associated with acupuncture as both use the needles to speed up the healing process. However, dry needling can be well differentiated from acupuncture based on objectives and the philosophy behind both. Unlike acupuncture, which uses the Chinese points of insertion, dry needling uses trigger points to decide points of insertion.
What are the benefits?
Dry needling is beneficial for relieving a variety of musculoskeletal problems including:
• Acute injuries
• Chronic injuries
• Muscle spasms
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Shin splints
• Ball of foot pain
• Calf pain
• Hip pain
• Knee pain
Research has shown that the use of needles can improve pain control, electrical and biochemical dysfunction of motor endplates and reducing muscle tension.
Consult a podiatrist at ACE Health Centre to discuss your condition and see if the treatment is for you.