Dry Needling2020-09-17T08:47:13+00:00

Dry Needling

Physiotherapists are increasingly using dry needling techniques (a fusion of traditional Eastern methods and Trigger Point therapy) to compliment manual therapies when treating a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Thin acupuncture needles are inserted into pain or dysfunction-causing anomalies in the tissue to restore normal tissue physiology.

Needling can reduce pain and muscle tightness, and improve function in those suffering from acute and chronic conditions such as back and neck pain, muscle strains and joint sprains. Whilst traditional acupuncture relies on specific points and meridians, dry needling addresses movement dysfunction beyond the immediate sources of pain, and has been shown to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, enhance scar tissue breakdown, and stimulate tissue remodelling. It can be particularly useful in the relief of symptoms associated with sustained or repetitive postures such as sport or exercise, or sitting at a desk or computer.

Our Physios have undertaken postgraduate study in different types of dry needling. Like all treatments, different injuries call for different approaches to needling – there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The most common method used for a range of musculoskeletal conditions is trigger point needling.

A trigger point (TP) is defined as “a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable taut band”. A TP is exquisitely tender and can give rise to distinctive pain referral patterns and motor dysfunction. Muscles with a TP appear weak, and are often associated with reduced range of motion or sensitivity to stretch. When needled it will exhibit a local twitch response and/or pain referral in the same pattern you have presented with, this is a positive response and can mean the TP could have been responsible for your pain.

Trigger points can occur due to many factors, some including: muscular strain, nerve impingement, overuse, poor posture, fatigue, mental/emotional stress, incorrect breathing patterns and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Once the trigger point has been needled it essentially “resets” the muscle and provides the opportunity, in conjunction with other manual techniques and exercise therapy, to re-establish motor programming and restore normal function within the region.


How Long Do The Effects Last?2020-09-17T07:51:02+00:00

Once the dysfunction or imbalance has been corrected with dry needling and other physiotherapy modalities, we give you an individual treatment plan that involves stretches and strengthening to enable the body to maintain the appropriate balance.

Dry Needling Vs Acupuncture?2020-09-17T07:51:01+00:00

The two techniques both involve the use of solid filament needles. The main difference is the theories that they are based on.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that aims to modulate ones internal chemistry. Acupuncture works on a principle of ‘chi’. Chi circulates in the body along twelve major pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organ and organ systems. By inserting fine needles a small way beneath the skin into specific points along the meridians, it is believed the flow of energy (chi) can be redirected for the purpose of relieving tension, stress, or pain. Dry needling as mentioned focusses on relieving, pain and tension through release of myofascial trigger points at or close to the area of pain.

Will Dry Needling Help Me?2020-09-17T07:50:59+00:00

Dry needling is a very effective means of addressing a wide range of acute and chronic conditions that cause pain or hinder mobility, including but not limited to, back and neck pain, headaches, muscular tightness, sporting injuries, tennis/golfers elbow and rotator cuff injuries.

Will It Be Painful Afterwards?2020-09-17T07:50:48+00:00

Post treatment soreness is possible and may last for 1-3 days after dry needling of active trigger points. Having one standard alcoholic beverage (i.e. a glass of wine) can decrease these effects as well as the application of ice or heat to a painful area. Although your muscles may feel achy and tired afterwards, it is encouraged to complete gentle range of motion exercises and stretching.

How Often Will I Need To Get It Done?2020-09-17T07:50:46+00:00

Depending on your condition and if it is acute or chronic, the amount of sessions you may require will vary. Some people notice improvements following their first session, finding that the problem muscles are less taut and contracted, and that they are able to move with more freedom. Most people find that after 3-4 sessions they will have a significant change in their symptoms.

What Will I Feel During The Process?2020-09-17T07:50:38+00:00

Generally the needle insertion is not felt. During the process you may feel a dull ache within the muscle or heaviness within the limbs. If a local twitch response is elicited it may feel like a cramping sensation or a small electric shock- as mentioned previously the local twitch effect is good and a desirable reaction.

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