What is Dry Needling?
By: Natasha Green, MSc PT, HBSc
Dry Needling is a skilled technique performed by a physiotherapist in Orleans aimed at reducing pain, muscle tension, improving movement and function. Dry Needling is used to treat trigger points (i.e. muscle knots), among other things.
Essentially, a filiform needle is inserted into a tender area of muscle. The therapist moves the needle slightly up and down into the muscle which may elicit a momentary twitch in the muscle. This “twitch response” is associated with the therapeutic benefits of dry needling.
Will Dry Needling hurt?
Rarely do patients report pain when the needle travels through the skin, as the needle is extremely fine. If the technique creates a “twitch response” in the muscle, most patients describe the sensation as a muscle cramp. Dry needling can cause some level of discomfort during and for 24 hours post-treatment, but it varies from person to person.
How does Dry Needling work?
Dry needling is used to trigger your own immune system to help accelerate recovery. Dry needling has been shown to have various physiological effects on the body including increased blood flow, decreased muscle banding and tissue tension, improved muscle contraction efficiency, and can lead to central nervous system changes, inducing pain relief.
What conditions can Dry Needling help?
Most orthopedic conditions involve tight muscles and thus a wide range of injuries can be treated using dry needling. Examples include headaches, neck, and low back pain, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, to mention a few. Consult your physiotherapist in Orleans whether you are a candidate for dry needling.
Why is it called Dry Needling?
The needles used in physiotherapy are considered “dry needles” because they are solid. In comparison, a “wet needle” is hollow. The needles used in a physiotherapy setting are extremely fine and have a rounded tip to cause the least amount of discomfort possible.
What’s the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?
Although both may use similar needles for treatment, the application of the needle and overall approach to treating pain is different. Acupuncture in Orleans is a component of traditional Chinese medicine in which a needle is inserted at strategic points along the body and the needle is left for a duration of time. When administering dry needling, the therapist determines the placement of the needle using palpation and the administration of the needle is of short duration in comparison.