About Dry Needling
Dry needling is a manual therapy technique utilising a very fine needle similar to that used in acupuncture to stimulate muscle trigger points that can cause pain, loss of movement, and weakness.
Dry needling is effective in treating a wide variety of injuries such as shoulder pain, neck and lower back pain, tennis elbow, foot pain, shin splints, and headaches.
How does Dry Needling Work?
One of the theories behind Dry Needling suggests after an injury, chemicals are released into the injured muscle to begin the healing process. These same chemicals, if not cleared from the muscle by the body within a reasonable time, may cause a sustained muscular contraction. This contraction is like a cramp and can cause loss of movement and weakness, typically associated with an ache or burning sensation. Dry Needling stimulates the tight portion of the muscle to contract, which is followed by a reflexive relaxation of the muscle.
Does Dry Needling Hurt?
The needle used is between 0.25-0.3 mm in circumference (less than 0.1mm thick). The average person will feel the Physiotherapist tap the needle into place but not the needle itself. Dry Needling is not a pain-free technique, as the muscle contracts in response to the stimulation many people feel pain. That said, some people will experience no sensation and some will experience a strong sensation.
Dry Needling does NOT involve injecting substances into the body.
The process involves your therapist locating the knot in your muscle and inserting an fine needle into the area. This will cause the muscle to twitch and as a result, reduce tension in the muscle. This is a good sign as it means that the needle stimulated the appropriate spot and you are more likely to feel reduced pain and tightness in the area.
It is important to note that although most people will feel an immediate improvement in symptoms others may find that the muscle needled will be a bit sore afterwards. This is also a completely normal response. This post-needling soreness can be reduced with stretching, heat and adequate consumption of water.
There are different levels of qualifications for dry needling, which determine which muscles can be treated.
When making an appointment it’s best to specify the area of the body you would like to be treated for so our receptionists can refer you to the appropriate physiotherapist.
If you have any further questions regarding your dry needling appointment, contact us!