Dry needling is a specialised treatment technique used for a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and problems. Treatment utilises a solid, filament needle as is used in the practice of acupuncture, and relies on the stimulation of specific reactions in the target tissue for its therapeutic effect. Although both dry needling and acupuncture utilise the same type of needle for treatment, the principals and concepts of their use differ considerably.
Dry needling is used by physiotherapists as part of an overall treatment strategy, which may also include specific exercises, stretches and other manual therapy techniques. Muscle fibres, connective tissue and nerves all play a role in correct muscular contraction and therefore how a body moves.
Dry needling involves needling to altered or dysfunctional tissues such as myofascial trigger points, periosteum and other soft tissues such as muscle, tendons or ligaments in order to improve or restore the pattern of movement and allow a return to normal function.
Dry needling has many proven physiological effects. It increases opoid levels, thereby reducing pain and also helps reduce localised swelling. It assists natural anti-inflammatory responses and tissue re-modelling, as well as improving the alignment of both connective tissue and scar tissue.
Dry Needling can assist with:
- Headaches and migraines
- Acute swelling after injury
- Muscular spasm, tightness, aches and pains
- Neck pain
- Low back pain and ‘sciatica’
- Sports injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Shoulder injury or dysfunction
- Chronic pain