What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a technique used by chiropractors and other physical therapists whereby a very fine needle is inserted into a myofascial trigger point (a knot) or into a tight muscle to relieve pain in that muscle. A trigger point represents an area of increased nervous system activity in a muscle, which causes tension to develop in the rest of the muscle and in the tissues surrounding it. Dry needling can also be used to treat dysfunction within tendons, ligaments and joints.
How does it work?
The needles help to relieve tension n muscles by activating spinal cord reflexes brought about by eliciting a local twitch response in the tight muscle. By doing this, the needle can help to break the neurological pain cycle. It also has biochemical effects on the tissues by releasing pain relieving endorphins and improving blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscle.
Does it hurt?
Some people feel a little pinch as the needle goes through the skin, however as the needle is so fine a lot of people feel nothing at all. Once the needle reaches its target, pain may be felt as an electric shock, a cramp or a deep ache, which usually lasts less than 10 seconds.
What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
In short, the philosophy. Acupuncture is built on Eastern Chinese medicine philosophies and places needles in specific locations based on meridian lines to stimulate energy flow (Chi). Dry needling on the other hand is a musculoskeletal therapy which is simply another way to treat dysfunction in muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
What is it used for?
Dry needling can be used for many different conditions and our practitioners use it in conjunction with other chiropractic or massage techniques. Please do not hesitate to discuss any questions you may have with your practitioner during your consultation.
An example of some of the conditions we have had sucess in treating are:
- rotator cuff tendonitis
- tennis elbow
- tension headaches
- postural strain
- low back pain
- ITB syndrome
- calf tension