Dry needling is a form of therapy adapted from the traditional Chinese Medicine method of acupuncture. Dry needling is where very thin stainless steel needles are inserted into muscle tissue just below the skin surface with the desire to evoke muscular, nerve and blood flow changes. Dry needling works by changing our body’s perception to pain, decreasing muscles tension and assisting in the healing process by bringing a greater amount of blood born healing mediators to the region of injury. Some effects of dry needling can be felt immediately such as the removal of muscle spasm, chronic muscle tightness and pain levels. Both dry needling and acupuncture have proven to be very effective therapies in the treatment of many conditions that are outlined below.
Dry needling is an effective treatment for many common different conditions; Wry neck (acute neck pain), tennis elbow, migraines and headaches, low back pain, tendon issues and other sports injuries. Dry needling differs from massage or other treatments in its ability to target very specific sights of pain, muscle tightness and tissue aggravation. Dry needling is a great basis of treatment but works most effectively in conjunction with addressing factors that have caused the injury in the first place, whether that is a need to build greater strength, adjustment of biomechanics or a change to training environments.
Dry needling is a treatment tool that when used correctly has powerful and lasting treatment effects.
Written by James Rance, physiotherapist at Malvern Physiotherapy Clinic who is trained in the dry needling technique. Please ask your physiotherapist if you wish to have this technique used on you.