Dry Needling is a method of myofascial release using acupuncture needles for the treatment of trigger points, muscle spasms, joint pain, headaches, TMJ, repetitive strain and overuse injuries. A trigger point is a tender spot (knot) in a tight band of muscle which causes pain when pressed or squeezed. Dry Needling is different from Traditional Chinese Acupuncture which focusses on the insertion of needles into various parts of the body in order to help a variety of conditions using the concept of energy pathways/meridians.
Many painful symptoms are caused by the development of trigger points within the muscles and connective tissues of the body. These can develop as a result of imbalances in the optimum functioning of the spine and other joints, as a result of direct injury or overuse. These trigger points are capable of becoming a source of both local and referred pain. Following the identification of these points, Dry Needling techniques are capable of ‘deactivating’ them and thus reducing the pain associated with them as well as stimulating a local healing process.
Most people will not feel the needle penetrate the skin and a healthy muscle will feel very little discomfort when the needle is gently inserted further, however, if the muscle is sensitive, shortened or contains active trigger points there may be a twitch response. This is a good sign and means the trigger point has been stimulated, jump starting the muscle and nerve supply and increasing the blood flow to the area which helps to relax the muscle. When the twitch response occurs there may be a very brief pain response, a tingling sensation or dull ache.
Needles are left in place for 15-30 seconds, depending on the effect required. During the treatment, you may experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation. If, at any point, during the treatment you experience any pain or unpleasant sensations, the needles will be removed promptly. Dry Needling works very well when combined with massage and it is important to stretch after a treatment.
Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms.
Treatment side effects are usually minor and can include a small amount of bleeding at the needle insertion site, drowsiness, sweating and fainting. There is also a possibility of the perforation of a nerve, blood vessel, lung, joint space or internal organ. I only use sterile, single use needles.
Before receiving a treatment we will discuss your reasons for requiring a Dry Needling treatment and you will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire. If there is anything you feel may inhibit you from receiving this treatment or you have any concerns about Dry Needling then please feel free to ask me beforehand. Contraindications to this treatment include people with needle a phobia, bleeding disorder, if you are taking blood thinning medication including aspirin, skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, an open wound, recent joint replacement, Diabetes, epilepsy if uncontrolled, malignancy, limb with lymphodema, advanced osteoporosis and pregnancy.