Dry needling: What is all the fuss about?
Arianne Romeo – Physiotherapist
Dry Needling is definitely growing in popularity with physios as a means to relieve pain and other symptoms. More and more clients are being advised by friends and family to see their Physiotherapist about Dry Needling, but what is it?
It does sound a little strange so let me break it down for you.
Dry needling is where a trained professional (Physio or other) uses small acupuncture needles to dissolve palpable trigger points or “knots” in a body of muscle. It is a sterile and quick method of treatment, and there is nothing injected into the skin thus the term “dry.”
It has been proven to relieve lower back pain, shoulder problems and improve joint range. Dry needling can also be an effective in alleviating headaches and chronic pain where patients “have tried everything.”
Is it painful?
Well, it does depend on a case by case basis. Usually it feels like a small sting which becomes a dull ache. Pain may refer down the arm or leg depending on how tight the muscle in question is. Sometimes patients experience some aching for 1-2 days afterwards, followed by great relief of symptoms.
How does it work?
By introducing a foreign stimulant into a constantly stiff and sore area we can create a new injury. This in turn promotes blood flow, healing and cell maturation – allowing the muscle to stretch, relax and release! This is why it is so effective in treating chronic pain because it gives the body the opportunity to respond in an acute manner and regenerate the healing process!
Will it fix my problems?
You will need to book in for a full Physiotherapy assessment and it is up to the clinician what the best course of treatment will be. However, dry needling when used in conjunction with traditional physiotherapy mobilisations, soft tissue release and exercise prescription has shown to be very effective.
Looking forward to seeing you in the clinic!