5 Common Questions about Dry Needling

Dry-Needling-Lower-Back

What Exactly is Dry Needling?

Dry needling involves inserting a very fine needle at specific sites throughout the body (often directed at a myofascial trigger point). Research is still being conducted, but the theory is that the needles causes a small inflammatory response which leads to an expansion of blood vessels. This process will bring in more nutrients to the area and will assist in removing any waste by-products. Researchers also believe dry needling works by influencing our body’s pain inhibitory mechanism to stop pain messages being delivered to the brain.

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

Dry Needling and Acupuncture do share some similarities but they are two different techniques. Dry needling is primarily used to reduce pain and restore function through a myofascial trigger point theory whereas acupuncture is used for the treatment of medical conditions through restoring the flow of energy and restoring balance. Both techniques use the same needles in their application, but the theory behind where to apply to needles differ.

What are Myofascial Trigger Points?

A myofascial trigger point is a tight band within a muscle, which can often be tender to touch and may reproduce your familiar pain. These can occur through a variety of reasons such as:

  • Repetitive muscle use
  • Acute trauma
  • Prolonged overloading from posture or poor ergonomics
  • Degeneration
  • Nerve sensitisation
  • Anxiety or sleep deprivation

 

Are there any Risks?

As with any manual therapy technique there are some risks involved. Side effects are rare but your osteopath will run through the benefits and risks associated with using this technique. 

All needles are individually packaged and are single use. The area will also be sterilised using an alcohol swab to minimise risk of infection.

When can Dry Needling be used?

  • Sporting Injuries
  • Golfers or Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/ Wrist RSI
  • Muscle Tension
  • Postural Strains
  • Tendon Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain
dry needling of the tmj jaw by an osteopath
Dry-Needling-Arm

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