Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dry Needling

Dry Needling
Many of our patients (in particular those seeing our Myotherapist Tim) have asked about dry needling and wonder; What it does? Why, and If it hurts? What are the benefits? Dry needling is highly effective for muscle pain, chronic tight muscles, joint restriction and injury recovery, and here is how it works (in an easy to understand manner). 
Is it safe?

Dry needling is a very safe treatment. Our Myotherapist Tim, undertook 12 months of intense training of varying dry needling techniques and developed a deep understanding of the relevant anatomy. The needles used are very fine (0.1- 0.3 mm), and very rarely does bruising occur at the insertion site.
Side effects are uncommon, however some clients report muscle soreness in the treated area which can last from a few hours to a few days due to muscle tightness and physiological changes in the tissue.
How does it work?

Dry needling involves stimulating a twitch response within a target muscle(s) in order to alleviate muscle tension and pain/restriction. This allows the body’s biochemistry to produce natural analgesic chemicals such as endorphin's (for pain relief).
The tiny needle causes micro-trauma which signals the brain to initiate a sequence of events which include increased blood flow to repair the 'damaged tissue'. When dry needling is used in a ‘trigger point’ (tight muscle band) a 'twitch' response is frequently elicited in the muscle. This is both diagnostic as well as therapeutic, because healthy muscle tissue will not 'twitch' when stimulated by the needle. Once a 'twitch' response has been elicited, the muscle fibres in that area relax, inflammation is reduced and circulation improves. As a result of these physiologic processes, dry needling can purposely address musculoskeletal issues.
What are the benefits of dry needling?

Dry needling can reduce chronic tightness in muscles which can allow the Myotherapist to work with more ease on the muscle. This means treatments may be more pain-free. Dry needling can also minimize the referred pain symptoms that some trigger points can cause and therefore treat your musculoskeletal pain effectively. Complaints that respond well to dry needling include:
  1. Neck pain – including headaches or migraines
  2. Back pain– musculoskeletal pain and restriction
  3. Jaw pain/TMJ dysfunction
  4. Sporting and repetitive strain injuries
  5. Shin splints
  6. Shoulder injuries
  7. Tennis elbow
  8. and many other conditions.
What will I feel during my dry needling treatment?

Generally, needle insertion is not felt. The local twitch response can cause a sudden quick contraction in the muscle and may cause very brief pain. A therapeutic response occurs when the twitch response is achieved. If muscle soreness is experienced in the following 24-48 hrs heat application is recommended. Drinking plenty of water is also a helpful way to reduce post-treatment soreness.

For more information about dry needling, or if your interested in an appointment with our Myotherapist, contact our friendly reception team or respond to this email.

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