Dry Needling therapy
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is also known as "Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling" it involves relieving muscle trigger points and is practiced by physiotherapists based on Western medicine principles and adapted from Acupuncture techniques from Eastern practices.
Dry needling involves locating myofascial trigger points and aiming to release the spasm in that muscle at the trigger point with a thin needle.
The needle is the same used for acupuncture but utilized by trained physiotherapists in a different way to release "Trigger Points."
Trigger Points are commonly known as "knots," where the muscle is tender to touch or press. These knots are common for everyone, and there are numerous ways to alleviate the discomfort and pain associated with Trigger Points. Needling can be an effective way to release painful knots.
The needle only stays in for a few minutes; for optimum results, it is moved around by the therapist while still in the skin to locate the exact area of the trigger point and promote blood flow. The muscle may sometimes twitch in response to the dry needling technique.
Why Dry Needing?
Dry needling is an effective treatment for many sports injuries, back pain, joint pain and headaches. Dry needling can be performed on most muscular trigger points in the body ranging from the upper trapezius muscle around the shoulder, where dry needling may relieve headaches caused by upper trapezius muscle spasm, all the way down to gastrocnemius trigger points below the knee that may be responsible for calf pain and knee and ankle stiffness.
The dry needling technique can often reduce or relieve pain immediately. It usually takes just a few treatment sessions for the pain relief to become long-lasting.
How Dry Needling Works?
The way dry needling works is threefold:
Firstly, it reduces the toxic levels of pain-causing chemicals located in a muscle trigger point when the needle goes into the trigger point. A reaction is caused in the body, which helps eliminate the pain-causing chemicals, which helps the muscle relax, and spasms and pain are then eased.
Secondly, dry needling at a trigger point immediately increases blood flow to that area, speeding up the healing process.
And thirdly, the needle can act as a blocker to the nerves that send pain signals from the brain to the trigger point. By blocking the nerves, the needle serves to "trick" the brain into stopping sending the pain signals.
Precautions and Important Considerations
Although dry needling is very effective in many patients at relieving their pain symptoms very quickly, patients have to be screened before beginning this type of therapy. Some medical conditions, such as infectious diseases, immune disorders and skin problems, can sometimes be complicated by this procedure. Patients on blood thinning medication should seek medical clearance before commencing dry needling therapy.
Dry needling is only used after a consultation and a complete understanding of the patient needs and background.