Dry Needling Explained
Why ‘Dry’ Needling?
First thing’s first! It’s called dry needling no wet components pass through the needle. The needles we used are very similar to acupuncture needling and are not hollow in the middle, as they would be for wet needling like with anaesthetic or cortisone injections.
The needles are inserted to target trigger points in muscles. These trigger points are hyperirritable areas in the muscles which have ‘knotted’. The cause of this knotting may be from injury or from overuse, which has caused tissue damage and contracture of the muscle. This results in limited movement in that muscle - and the muscular pain you experience when you push down on ‘sore spots’ in the muscles.
The ‘Twitch’ Or Ache
When the thin needle is inserted, many patients often feel a twitch response from their muscles, or a dull ache. Don’t worry - this is a good sign! It’s the first step in breaking the pain cycle as research shows it decreases muscle contraction, reduce chemical irritation, improve flexibility and decreases pain. It also stimulates the immune response to the area to help work on the problem directly and at a systemic level, as damaged and contracted muscles stimulate a number of other reactions such as inhibiting full circulation to the area and the disposal of waste products from the injured muscle.
Which Conditions Is Dry Needling Good For?
Generally, most musculoskeletal pain can benefit from dry needling. This includes:
- Shin pain
- Calf pain
- Achilles pain
- Foot & ankle pain
- Plantar fascia pain
- ITB pain
- Knee pain
- Running injuries
- Sports performance
- Muscle strains
Dry Needling vs. Massage
In our experience, depending on the extent of the injury and the affected site, one session of acupuncture can produce similar effects to half an hour of targeted massage.
Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture
It is important to note that dry needling and acupuncture are different practices, even though they use the same or similar needles. Acupuncture is Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses acupuncture points that are specifically measured out as per your body. Dry needling is based on Western Medicine and evidence-based research.
Can I Book In For A Dry Needling Session?
We can definitely use dry needling as one of the treatment modalities to help your recovery, but it must be started following a comprehensive examination to ensure that you have the right diagnosis and the right treatment plan to get you back to feeling great and realising your full potential. If dry needling is then suitable for your diagnosis, we can start performing the treatment so you can feel the muscle twitches for yourself!