Dry needling is a technique used to treat myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle - one without medication or injection - inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points.
Some of the chiropractors at Southcote use Dry Needling as part of their treatment and management of a number of conditions.
This is because it can be very effective for relieving musculoskeletal pain as well as rheumatic or arthritic-type pain.
There is also good evidence in support of its effectiveness in relieving pain and releasing tight muscles.
Imaging techniques have demonstrated that it produces changes in brain activity, particularly in those areas responsible for processing pain. Dry Needling is available in most hospital pain clinics as well being provided by a growing number of regulated healthcare professionals in many other settings.
Chinese acupuncture is different in that it is based on meridian energy channels and the theory that a balance of yin and yang maintains good health.
Dry Needling, however, is based on the same principles of anatomy and physiology, which underpin the other treatment modalities we use.
The pin prick sensation stimulates the brain and causes central inhibition of pain or a local area of analgesia around the area the needle is inserted. It also increases the release of the body’s natural painkillers, including endorphin and serotonin. This can cause a ‘feel-good’ effect and result in generalised relaxation.
Dry Needling is generally not painful as the needles used are so fine. A variety of sensations may be felt when the needle is manually stimulated to monitor the gradual relaxation of the muscle into which it has been inserted. The needles are only left in for a short time of up to a few minutes.
Possible side-effects include drowsiness, sweating, and there may occasionally be a very small bruise around the site of the needle.
Dry Needling is used at Southcote as an addition to Chiropractic treatment rather than instead of it. It tends to be useful for muscular conditions that would otherwise require deep tissue massage which may cause inflammation or occasionally aggravate the condition. The needles are able to get deeper into the tight ‘knots’ of muscle, and help it relax as well as ease the pain.
Conditions that may respond to Dry Needling include repetitive strain injuries like tennis and golfer’s elbow; acute back and neck pain, muscular aches, sports injuries and some arthritic conditions.