What is Myofascial Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a treatment technique in which a thin filament needle is inserted directly into a trigger point within a muscle. This is aimed at releasing tight muscles with the goal of permanently reducing muscle pain and dysfunction. Trigger points are localised areas of muscles that have become tightened. This results in tenderness of the muscle and effects the way the muscle functions, as it is unable to lengthen and contract like a healthy muscle. Dry needling is often used alongside other modalities to maximise the effectiveness of a Myotherapy treatment.
Does it hurt?
The needles used for dry needling are very thin (not like injection needles). They are individually wrapped, sterilized and are for single use only, then they are discarded. When using proper placement techniques, you should not feel any pain when the needle is inserted. You may feel a twitch response, slight tingling or heaviness after they are inserted. This is very common and is an encouraged sign.
What are the benefits of Dry Needling?
• Relieve muscle pain
• Improve muscle length
• Improve use of muscles
• Improve sleep and relaxation
• Decrease inflammation
• Lack of ‘post-treatment soreness’ which is normally experienced after manual therapy
What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
Many people think of acupuncture when dry needling is mentioned, and while the same type of needles are used for both, dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory where needles are inserted along “meridian lines” to affect energy flow.
Dry needling is based on western medicine and utilises our knowledge of anatomy, physiology and scientific research. The primary focus is to needle muscles, joints and ligaments which harbor trigger points and/or pain.
How does it work?
When the needle is inserted into the muscle it stimulates a local flow of blood, which promotes healing. It helps block the neural pathway that causes pain, and the body’s natural pain killers are released to inhibit the pain and inflammatory cycle.
What conditions can be treated with dry needling?
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Plantar fasciitis
• Muscle strains
• Ligament injuries
• Joint pain
• Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)