Hello everyone, dry needling is a technique that many physios use as part of their treatment however many of our patients while they know it helps, are just not sure why and how. One of our fantastic physios, Imogen Young uses dry needling as a part of her treatments. Imogen has put together some information for you to help demystify dry needling.
Dry needling is used to enhance the healing process for many types of injuries. Dry needling involves the insertion of a very thin needle which stimulates a healing response within the soft tissue, whether it is tendon or muscle. It is particularly effective for chronic conditions and general muscle tightness or pain. In chronic injuries, the dry needling technique causes increased blood flow to the affected area which stimulates a healing response that had not occurred previously.
Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of conditions including but not limited to:
- Overuse injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow
- Muscle tightness/tension
Many of our physiotherapist at Move Better for Life are trained in the various dry needling techniques. Both acupuncture and dry needling share a common aim – to provide pain relief. However, acupuncture focuses on aligning a patient’s energy, otherwise known as “Qi” or “Chi”. Dry needling is a more modern technique that uses western neurological anatomy to target “knots” or “trigger points” within muscles.
What to expect?
The needle used during dry needling is very fine so you may not feel the initial skin penetration. When a muscle is very tight you will quite often feel a “twitch” response from the needle which is when the muscle spasms or “twitches” involuntarily. In general, there is very little risk associated with dry needling if performed properly by a trained physiotherapist. It is normal to have some slight soreness around the needled area for up to 48 hours after the treatment followed by an improvement in your symptoms. Occasional bruising can be a minor side effect of dry needling.
Thanks Imogen – that‘s a great explanation.
Hope this helps anyone wanting to know the why and how of dry needling, Deb