What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling has evolved from Eastern acupuncture techniques, where traditional meridians and trigger points were used to treat the body, mind and emotions. Modern physiotherapy has taken this into a more biomedical model whereby pain and biomechanical dysfunction can be treated directly.
Extremely fine needles are inserted into the tissue (relatively painlessly) to impart a physiological change in the tissues, directly affecting the pain experience. Each person’s treatment is individualised, as no two people present with exactly the same problems.
Why is it used?
The latest research indicates that dry needling has the following benefits:
• Enhances initial phase of inflammation
• Increases levels of the building-blocks for repair (blood-glucose, amino acids, fatty acids)
• Improves linear alignment of connective tissues
• Remodels and breaks down scar tissue
• Reduces local oedema – which is excessive build-up of fluid in the body’s tissues
• Essentially, it enhances tissue healing and remodeling, improves range of movement, motor performance and thus reduces pain.
What are the typical injuries that can benefit from Dry Needling technique?
Dry needling is effective for acute injuries, where the person wants to enhance and speed up the initial healing period. Also, once the initial healing phase is finished and the new tissue has been laid down, dry needling can encourage alignment of the new tissues. This increases the extensibility of the tissues, reducing risk of re-injury. For long term issues where the problem has become ingrained in everyday movements, dry needling can reach the problem areas causing this dysfunctional movement, and allow the body to move normally again. After this, the physiotherapist can train your body how to utilize the new movement. Typical injuries that dry needling is beneficial for are not limited to:
• Muscle tear or strain or any type of ligament injury
• Shoulder impingement
• Patellofemoral (pain in the back of the knee)
• Lower back pain
• Shin splints.