Dry needling is becoming a popular modality for musculoskeletal physiotherapists and other musculoskeletal practitioners.
Dry Needling, also known as Trigger Point Dry Needling, is a treatment which involves inserting an extremely fine, single use sterile needle, (acupuncture needle) into a Trigger Point. This has been found in many research studies to be extremely effective in releasing pain and tightness.
What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory where needles are inserted along “energy channels” to affect “Chi” flow, (energy flow). Dry Needling, on the other hand, is based on Western medicine and scientific research and utilizes knowledge of anatomy & physiology and neurochemistry. The primary focus is to needle muscles which harbor trigger points.
What does it feel like?
Not every area needled will elicit the same sensation. In some areas you might feel a slight pricking sensation when the needle first touches the skin. As the needle is inserted deeper into the muscle it is expected that relaxed tissue in a normal functioning state will be painless. This is because the needle construction is very fine and the tip is designed to do very little damage. When the needle contacts a trigger point some people feel the muscle “twitch” this is the “local twitch response”. Others may feel a deep aching or burning sensation or it may feel like the muscle has tightened or “cramped”. Referred pain is common as every trigger point has a common referral zone, often quite distant to the actual Trigger Point. If a strong referral sensation occurs don’t panic, this is a good sign that the needle is doing its job. If the sensation you get reproduces part or all of your symptoms, this can mean that an active Trigger Pont is very likely the cause of your symptoms.
The evidence base for dry needling in various areas of physiotherapy has increased substantially over the past decade. In particular, research has grown to provide evidence-based support in the treatment of acute and chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, tension type and migraine headaches, pelvic pain, knee osteoarthritis, lateral elbow pain and shoulder conditions.
Chevron Island Physio is lucky to have 3 Physiotherapists who practice the art of dry needling. Call 5504 7000 to see if Dry Needling can ease your pain!