Neuromuscular Dry Needling
What is Dry Needling?
- form of treatment that uses acupuncture needles to treat pain, muscle tension, injury and dysfunction.
How does Dry Needling work?
- usually used to target trigger points in muscles.
- it increases the body's natural healing and pain relief mechanisms so they work more effectively in a given area
- penetration into tight nodules/bands causes a micro-trauma that increases blood flow and alters the chemical balance in the muscle, assisting with muscle relaxation and healing.
- increase in blood flow also helps increase healing rate
- stimulation of pain receptors also causes the body to release opioids (e.g. endorphins). These are natural pain relievers so their release provides further pain relief.
How is Dry Needling different to Acupuncture?
- Acupuncture generally refers to the traditional Chinese medicine which is based on stimulating the flow of Chi (energy) through the meridians of the body
- DN is based on anatomical and neuro-physiological principles.
- While the needles are the same, the principles and application are different
NOTE: Often people may use the term acupuncture when referring to DN so if you have had acupuncture in the past it may have been DN.
Is Dry Needling safe?
- DN is very safe.
- There are certain factors that may make you unsuitable for DN (e.g. 1st trimester of pregnancy) or that require extra care to be taken (e.g. Diabetes) but your physiotherapist will consider these to ensure appropriate use.
- All needles are sterile and used once only before bing disposed of safely in a sharps container.
Will it Hurt?
- there is generally less pain both during and after treatment when compared to a deep tissue massage to an equivalent level.
- most often you won't feel the insertion of the needle.
- when the needle penetrates the trigger point, you may feel an initial "grab" or deep ache that quickly settles to become a lighter dull ache, warmth, heaviness or nothing at all!
- this is generally much better than the constant feeling associated with the firm massage that would be required to get the equal effect.
- following treatment there is often no soreness but you can expect to feel a deep tightness/soreness in the muscle or an ache for a short time (usually less than 24hrs). This again is invariably much less that than general tenderness felt after a massage used for an equivalent level of release.