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Acupuncture/Dry Needle Therapy

Dry needle therapy  helps to relieve pain caused by musculoskeletal dysfunction by relaxing myofascial trigger points. Trigger points are tight bands that develop in the muscles causing pain. Trigger points can develop from stress on the muscles such as due to poor posture and repetitive actions.


What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling involves gently inserting a small needle into the trigger point. The needle is gently manipulated which can produce a twitch response in the muscle. The aim is to allow the muscle to relax, reducing pain. The needle is then removed after a short period of time.


Is Dry Needling The Same As Acupuncture?

There are similarities between dry needling and acupuncture, however they are not the same. Dry needling differs from acupuncture in a few ways. Dry needle therapy is a Western medicine that focuses on reducing pain and restoring function through releasing myofascial trigger points in the muscle. However, acupuncture is a traditional Eastern philosophy that treats conditions by restoring the flow of Qi (energy) through points on the body called meridians. This aims to restore health and balance to the body.


What Are Myofascial Trigger Points?

A myofascial trigger point is otherwise called a bunch in the muscle. It happens when the muscle filaments have abbreviated when initiated, yet not came back to their unique loosened up length. The muscle strands become tight, and can pack the nerves and veins that supply them. This outcomes in the muscle without a crisp stockpile of blood and supplements, and furthermore being not able to flush out waste appropriately. This decreases the capacity of the muscle to work effectively and can prompt pain or uneasiness.


What Causes Myofascial Trigger Points?

Myofascial trigger points form as part of the body’s natural protective mechanisms. They can occur due to the following:
Unexpected or fast movements
Overloading the muscles
Prolonged sitting
Poor posture
Nerve impingement
Nutrient deficiencies


Is Dry Needling Safe?

Yes. Dry needle therapy is a safe and relaxing process. Sometimes the needle being inserted into the trigger point can cause slight pain, however many patients do not feel the needles at all. Some patients experience tiredness after a dry needling session; however, this doesn’t last long and there are no lingering effects that interfere with daily activities.


What Conditions Can Dry Needling Treat?

Dry needling is effective for a range of musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain. Some of the conditions that dry needling is effective in treating include:
Lower back pain
Arm pain
Shoulder pain
Tennis elbow
Leg pain
Sprained ankles
Repetitive motion disorders

Dry needling is a method that uses single use needles in a similar way to acupuncture . However, dry needling differs from acupuncture as it focuses on releasing myofascial trigger points (knots) to reduce pain and restore function.

If you would like to learn more about dry needling and acupuncture, or would like to book an appointment, contact our experienced physiotherapist in Millwoods Physical Therapy Centre who are more than happy to answer your questions.


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