Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling? Treatment by acupuncture

Dry needling is a technique that many therapists use; Sports Therapists, Myotherapists, Physios, Osteos ect. to treat conditions such as muscular tension and spasm which commonly accompany conditions such as arthritis, muscular strains, nerve irritation and ligament strains as well as other acute and chronic conditions.

Whilst often confused with a form of Acupuncture, Dry needling is its own technique with different methods and results to that which acupuncture provides.

When an injury or pain is present from either an acute trauma or chronic condition, inflammation will be present around the injured tissues.  The damaged tissues will also go into a protective tension state to guard against further damage. This response inhibits circulation which limits the oxygen rich blood reaching the area appropriately and limits “waste” removal from the injured site.

Your therapist uses a small, solid filament needle which is inserted in a “knotted” muscle to create a local twitch reflex. This twitch response is the first step in breaking the pain cycle as research shows will decrease muscle contraction, reduce chemical irritation, improve flexibility and decrease pain.  When the needle is inserted into muscle it will also produces a controlled inflammatory response. The body responds to this stimulus by activating the immune system.

There are 3 effects of Dry Needling. Mechanical, Neurophysiological and Chemical

Mechanical effects

  • Dry Needling may mechanically disrupt a dysfunctional motor end plate
  • Needling results in a Local Twitch Response

Neurophysiological effects

  • Baldry (2001) suggests that dry needling techniques stimulate nerve fibers for as long as 72 hours post needling, which results in pain suppression.

Chemical effects

  • Studies by Shah and colleagues (2001) demonstrated increased levels of various chemicals. These chemicals were reduced immediately post treatment.
  • Dry needling will create a micro-trauma and micro bleeding (localized inflammation) which help promote healing.

Dry needling is an effective and safe technique, and our Therapists are highly qualified in its practice. We offer Dry Needling at both our Docklands and Richmond Clinic. For more information on how Dry needling can help you please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page.