Dry Needling involves inserting a sterile, single-use acupuncture needles directly into muscles trigger points. Trigger points are composed of taut bands within the muscle. These regions cause and contribute to pain.
Research studies have shown that inserting such needles into trigger points causes biochemical changes. These changes occur within the body, which help reduce pain.
Is Dry Needling the same as acupuncture?
Although Dry Needling uses the same needles as acupuncture, it is not the same technique. Needling is strictly based upon Western medicine principles. It is designed to treat myofascial trigger points. These trigger points are different from traditional acupuncture points.
How does dry needling work?
Pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues have shown that inserting needles into trigger points causes biochemical changes that alleviate pain. It is essential to elicit local “twitch” responses within the muscle. These twitches are the first step to breaking the pain cycle and releasing tight trigger points within muscles.
Is it painful?
Firstly the initial insertion of the needle does not usually cause any discomfort. The local twitch response can cause a brief painful reaction. In addition some patients describe this as an electric shock or a cramping sensation.
It is important to remember that the therapeutic effect only occurs by achieving a twitch response. Therefore, it is a desirable reaction. Most patients describe the treatment as feeling uncomfortable, but not painful.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes. We only use sterile, single-use, disposable needles.
What will happen after treatment?
It is common to feel some soreness post-treatment as with many manual therapy techniques. However, once this soreness has subsided there should be an improvement in the initial symptoms.
Typically, soreness can last anywhere between 1 hour and 2 days post-treatment. Some patients require 1-2 Dry Needling sessions, while others require 8-10. Therefore individual results can vary.
What can I do after the treatment?
In addition it is recommended to apply heat to the muscle post treatment. Heat helps to alleviate post-treatment soreness. You may need to temporarily modify your exercises or activities for 1 or 2 days afterward. Dry Needling is only one part of your treatment. Multiple therapy techniques can also be used to gain the best results.
In addition, your physio advise you on the correct exercises to perform in conjunction with your dry needling. After that the exercise programme will be progressed over time via your physio. Progressing exercises is important to complete your rehabilitation.
Conditions treated with Dry Needling?
Dry needling is used treat a variety of different injuries all over the body. For example:-
- Back and neck pain
- including postural problems and tension
- Arm pain (shoulder impingements, tennis or golfer’s elbow)
- Buttock and leg pain (including sciatic pain)
- Hamstring strains
- Knee pain
- Calf tightness or cramps