What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling uses fine filament needles (such as those used in acupuncture) to directly stimulate specific trigger points in muscles. This increases muscle relaxation and resets muscles. Dry Needling may be used by your Osteopath, Remedial Massage or Myotherapist to assist in achieving better results during your treatment.
How is it performed?
Fine (sterile / single use) needles are tapped virtually painlessly into the skin, sometimes through a plastic tube. The needles may be left in the muscle for a few seconds or up to 1-minute. After insertion the needles may be stimulated – either twisting manually or using electrical stimulation – and a feeling of heaviness, numbness or tingling may be felt in that area.
Extensive research has shown that stimulation of very fine nerve endings provides both a local pain blocking effect and also changes in blood chemistry due to the release of pain relieving hormones from the brain. This reduces pain, may help improve healing, and has a local relaxation effect.
What is Dry Needling used for?
Dry Needing can be used for almost all muscular conditions. It is especially beneficial for painful musculoskeletal conditions including migraine, neck and back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and many other non specific pain syndromes. Dry Needling may be used in conjunction with other Osteopathic techniques, Remedial Massage and exercise programs. It is generally safe to use alongside prescribed medications. There are no age limits for this treatment.
Dry Needling vs Acupuncture – What is the difference?
The difference in these two modalities is primarily defined by the Western vs Eastern medicine philosophies.
Dry needling is used in a variety of different ways, with the aim to return a muscle to its natural integrity by inserting the needle into trigger points found within the affected muscle. This may help relieve pain symptoms, improve joint range of motion and muscle flexibility.
Acupuncture is an ancient practise performed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. Utilising oriental medical principles, Acupuncture aims to balance the chi or energy pathways within the body. This is achieved by inserting the needles in the appropriate meridian channels, also known as our energy pathways. Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of a wide and diverse range of conditions including allergies, infertility, chronic fatigue and insomnia.
Is it safe?
The side effects are few when performed by a qualified therapist. You may experience some bruising or redness around the insertion point or some aching in the muscle similar to other Osteopathic technique responses. Your practitioner will discuss whether they feel Dry Needling will be of benefit to you.
It is important to understand:
- You are under no obligation to agree to Dry Needling. It is your choice whether you wish to use this treatment.
- There is no additional cost for this treatment.
- You can stop the procedure at any time.
- All Australian hygiene protocols are followed strictly. No needles are ever shared and all needles used are new.
It is recommended that pregnant woman in their first trimester do not have Dry Needling treatment. This is because it is generally agreed that women in their first trimester have more sensitive bodies, which could react unfavourably in some circumstances. Please let your practitioner know if you are pregnant.
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