Have you ever wondered if dry needling is something that could benefit you? Are you unsure on what the process of dry needling is and what it does for your body? Let us explain…
What is dry needling?
Dry Needling involves penetration of specific sites of the body with a very thin ‘dry needle’ (meaning there is no contents inside of the needle). This results in stimulation of the surrounding tissues, leading to a healing response.
When we break the skin, a small inflammatory response is created, stimulating the body to heal itself by first releasing a chemical called histamine. This initiates a cycle which results in stimulating blood circulation and tissue repair once the needle is removed.
Following dry needling, we can lengthen and strengthen the destroyed skin fibres with osteopathic manual therapy including massage, joint movement & stretching which will enhance & accelerate the therapeutic result. Simply put – When dry needling is applied to an affected muscle or trigger point, it can decrease muscle tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce pain.
What might I feel while having dry needling?
A lot of the time, patients feel nothing at all, however you may experience some of the following which typically settle after a couple of minutes:
- A sharp feeling
- Slight ache
- Referred pain
- Muscle twitch
- Slight bruising (which may take a couple of days to disappear)
Depending on the type of needling being done, the needles are usually left in the body for between 30 seconds – 10 minutes.
The aim of dry needling
When we use dry needling as a treatment technique, we typically insert the needles into areas of the body with tight muscles, or areas of pain – we call these myofascial trigger points. We do this to target tension and tightness in the body to relieve stiff and sore areas.
Myofascial trigger points – ‘A small area within a taut band of muscle where a stretch or pressure reproduces familiar pain.’. We all have trigger points in one location or another in our body. The common causes of trigger points are:
- Repetitive muscle overuse from sprains or strains
- Acute or chronic overload from posture, poor ergonomics, or scoliosis
- Joint degeneration from arthritis, resulting in loss of flexibility
- Nerve root sensitisation
- Anxiety or sleep deprivation which results in muscle tension & fatigue
Musculoskeletal conditions that may benefit from dry needling:
- Upper limb: Adhesive capsulitis, impingement syndrome, CTS, lateral & medial epicondylitis
- Lower limb: Piriformis syndrome, hamstring tear or tightness, PFPS, shin splints, ankle sprain
- General muscle tightness
- Ligament sprains
- Muscle tendinopathies
Dry needling is a safe and holistic treatment method which is a great way to effectively target musculoskeletal issues. Come and see one of our osteopaths to determine if your aches and pains could benefit from dry needling in combination with our other osteopathic manual therapies. Call 5941 4157 today or book an appointment with us online.