Is dry needling for me?

Dry Needling is when a thin needle is inserted gently into the skin, with the aim being to help increase blood flow, allow the muscle to relax and repair, relieve spasm and most importantly help relieve your pain.

Is it like acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years as an alternative treatment for the relief of pain, discomfort or other issues though opening up a person’s energy flow or chi. Acupuncture and dry needling may look very similar in their application but the primary difference is that dry needling relies on the principles of Western medicine, with the aim being to target specific trigger points within a muscle.

So what is a trigger point?

Often described as a ‘knot’ in the muscle tissue, a trigger point is an area of tension within the muscle, that may or may not be associated with pain.

It really not be defined as there is controversy about what exactly it is or whether they exist at all, officially described by Simons as ‘a taut band of tissue within skeletal muscle, characterised by being hyperirritable and may have a nodule on palpation’.

The theory goes that they can be latent (only causing symptoms when pressed by your physiotherapist) or active (causing symptoms and referral at rest).

How do trigger points develop?

his is an area of strong debate with Simons proposing that the muscle becomes overloaded and an energy crisis happens, reducing blood supply to this area, leading to reduced oxygen to the area and as a response the muscle forms a knotted area that is irritable and can cause pain. Trigger points are not the cause of what is going one, they’re a symptom.

So how does it ‘work’?

There are a number of theories as regards how dry needling ‘works’ but the most likely explanation is it has an effect on three levels, the tissue level, peripheral level (nerves outside your brain and spinal cord) and central level ( your brain and spinal cord).

It is most likely any changes at the tissue level is a result of the changes in the peripheral and central level help reduce pain, muscle spasm, increase blood flowhormon levels.

Dry needling is a minimally invasive that has the potential to reduce pain and facilitate easier, pain free movement. Combined with other physiotherapy modalities such as exercise and/or hands on treatment, dry needling can help you to achieve your individual goals from physiotherapy.

Dry needling is another tool in the physiotherapists extensive toolboxhen used with the right person, at the right time, by the right physiotherapist it can be very effective in helping reduce your pain and stiffness, getting you back to the things you love to do without worry or restriction, moving better and feeling better.

It can be used as an alternative to “hands-on” therapy in very sensitised tissues, or at times to target deeper muscles, difficult to palpate via hands.

It is not for everyone but importantly when used with the right person, at the right time it typically makes you feel better!

Complete Care at Fox Physiotherapy