WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING?
Dry needling uses small sterile acupuncture needles to relax those tight and stiff parts of your muscle, often known as “knots”.
Technically the needle is releasing whats known as your myofascial trigger points.
Dry Needling is not the same as Acupuncture, which is a common misconception within society. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine which aims to bring your body back to a “state of balance” by placing needles along your bodies meridians.
Dry Needling on the other hand, will only be done by your physiotherapist after they have performed a proper assessment of your body and is used as a form of hands on treatment to release your bodies tension and reduce your discomfort.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Dry needling works by desensitising and deactivating those “knots” mentioned previously, or you myofascial trigger point.
The needle has the job of triggering a twitch response in the “knot” of your muscle. This twitch response is the main aim of dry needling, because that twitch cases an increase in blood flow to the area and encourages the muscle to relax.
This process will help to stimulate a healing response, reduce pain and restore optimal muscle function.
WHEN SHOULD I GET DRY NEEDLING?
Dry needling can be used on pretty much every muscle in the body. The common issues we see in the clinic where we use dry needling to assist include sore/tight lower back muscles, head aches, tight traps and sore necks from sitting at the office desk for too long, shin splints in runners, badly tight calves in new runners, sore hips and glute muscles from lifting weights – and the list goes on and on.
WILL IT HURT?
99% of patients don’t feel the needle enter the muscle at all, the needles used are far too thin to cause any form of pain. When the trigger point is location, the desired twitch response can cause a very brief muscle cramp or “grab” sensation, however this does not last long – once the twitch response is reached your physio will remove the needle.
After dry needling the area treated should feel relaxed and may have a tired feeling due to the initiation of a healing response. Some people feel their muscle is a little achey for a few hours after their treatment.
At the end of the day, dry needling is a very safe form of treatment that can provide many outstanding results.