This blog was written by Divya Sebastian Registered Physiotherapist and Dry Needle provider!
At our clinic, we are often asked questions about Dry Needling. Some common questions that we encounter are: “Does it hurt? What does it really do? Is it the same as acupuncture? Does it feel like getting a needle? What does it work on?”.
As physiotherapists, it’s our responsibility to educate patients about their conditions and how various treatment techniques are beneficial to them. For this reason, we want to take a little time to educate you on what Dry Needling is, what it isn’t, and how it helps in treating myofascial dysfunction and improves muscle performance.
A trigger point is essentially a taut band of dysfunctional muscle tissue that is usually the result of overuse, postural abnormalities, muscular imbalances, or poor nutrition.
Dry needling or Trigger Point Dry Needling (TPN) is a technique used to treat myofascial pain where a “dry” needle (meaning there is nothing being injected) is inserted through the skin into trigger points in muscles. The technique only takes a few minutes. Because we use sterile needles and gloves, and prepare the treatment area with alcohol, the risk of infection is minimal. It is common after this treatment to experience muscle soreness (which can last 24-48hrs) and possibly some minor bruising. Many people, however, don’t experience any side effects and often times people have significant immediate relief from this treatment technique. Exceptional results are often experienced by people suffering from acute muscle strains of many varieties, chronic neck, low back and shoulder pain, TMJ dysfunction, chronic pain syndromes, and people experiencing a variety of nerve related pains. We often say that Dry Needling is the technique that seems to work on people that nothing else has worked on!
Dry needling can only be performed by a licensed healthcare professional that has passed the appropriate certification standards.
Dry needling is not acupuncture. Even though we use similar types of needles, the principles are different than that of an acupuncturist. Acupuncture is often based on eastern medicine principles such as energy flow and meridians. Dry needling is based on western medicine principles and on more widely accepted anatomy and physiology.
Dry needling is not for everyone. A few types of patients that we would not include this treatment for are patients who have tendency to increase bleeding, local varicose veins, local skin lesions, hypersensitivity to pain (in some cases) or people whom have a needle phobia. Dry needling can be “magical” for many people when combined with other physiotherapy treatment techniques. Ask your physiotherapist if dry needling would be helpful to you.
Call South Simcoe Physiotherapy today and book with one of our physiotherapists to try Dry Needling today!