Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that through needling along meridian lines (invisible channels throughout the body) aims to normalise the flow of qi (pronounced chee) or energy flow within the body.
In Dry Needling on the other hand, Physiotherapists will insert very fine needles into specific muscular points in the body to reduce pain and muscle tension.
Why needle? What is a trigger point ?
During treatment your therapist will insert a needle through the skin and into the tissue directly above a trigger point in the muscle.
A trigger point is a site of multiple contractions of muscle fibres within the muscle, which are related to the production and maintenance of pain. An active trigger point may cause spontaneous pain, or pain in response to movement, stretch or compression, some may also refer pain to other areas of the body. These trigger points normally feel like a knot or taut band within the muscle and can be very tender to touch.
Trigger points are extremely common and may be to blame for your muscle pain. The aim of Dry Needling is to deactivate the trigger point – reducing pain and restoring normal length and function to the involved muscle.
Common Uses Of Dry Needling
Some common musculoskeletal problems that physiotherapists may use Dry Needling for:
- Tension headaches
- Tennis Elbow
- Shin Splints
- General muscle tightness and pain
What will it feel like?
After you have been needled:
- You may feel a little sore after the treatment, maximum benefit is often seen between 24 – 72hrs after.
- You may like to apply warmth to the area that has been needled.
Effects of trigger point release with Dry Needling:
- Pain relief (may be immediately or within 3 days)
- Improved muscle length
- Improved sleep and relaxation
At Leading Edge Physical Therapy our Physiotherapists are certified to use Dry Needling as a method of treatment.