What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a treatment technique whereby a sterile, single-use, fine filament needle (acupuncture needle) is inserted into the muscle to assist with releasing muscle tension, decreasing pain and improving function through the release of myofascial trigger points (knots in muscle).
What is a trigger point?
Trigger points are hyperirritable/painful areas in the muscles which have ‘knotted’ or become tense. Knotting may be caused from injury or overuse, unexpected or quick movements, prolonged sitting, nerve impingement, stress and the list goes on. All of these contribute to tissue damage and contracture of the muscle, resulting in limited movement in that muscle – and the muscular pain you experience when you push down on the ‘sore spots’ in those muscles.
How does dry needling work?
When the thin needle is inserted into the trigger point, some people may experience a ‘twitch or dull ache’. This is a good thing! This is the first step in breaking the pain cycle. Blood also begins to pool around the needle, drawing fresh oxygen and nutrients to those cranky muscle fibres. In doing so, it lowers muscle tension, restores chemical balance, improves muscle movement and decreases pain.
What conditions is dry needling suitable for?
Generally, dry needling can be beneficial for most musculoskeletal pains, some include:
- Shin pain
- Calf pain
- Achilles pain
- Foot & ankle pain
- Plantar fascia pain
- ITB (iliotibial band) pain
- Knee pain
- Muscle strains
Are there any side effects of dry needling?
Everybody is different and everyone responds differently to all sorts of treatments. Although dry needling can be very effective as a treatment, it is possible to experience some minor side effects such as spotting/bruising around insertion site, fainting, nausea, or residual discomfort. However, all symptoms should subside after 24-48 hours post treatment.
Can I exercise straight after having dry needling done?
It is recommended to give strenuous exercise or high impact activity a break immediately following your dry needling treatment to allow the body to rest and recover, and to maximise the benefits of the treatment.
If you have any musculoskeletal conditions or symptoms you feel may benefit from dry needling, give our friendly reception team a call on 43239100 or book online to secure an appointment with our Podiatrist Rachel.