What is Dry Needling?

Heres a good one, DRY NEEDLING!! Dry needling is FANTASTIC! One of my favourite methods of treatment as it gets great results!

Only, when i ask a client how they feel about needling for the first time i often get mixed emotions. I'm writing this blog to clear a few things up to make dry needling feel much less daunting. 

So, What exactly is Dry needling? 

Dry needling is a technique that involves the use of solid filament needles (acupuncture needles) directly into the trigger points of muscles. If you don't know what a trigger point is, Check this blog out first 

What is a muscle knot?

Acupuncture needles are rather thin, when a client is asked if they would like to try dry needling and haven't previously tried it or acupuncture it sounds rather daunting (think big needle for taking blood) well acupuncture needles are actually quite thin 0.25mm to be precise. 

Here is a picture to give you an example of how small they are in comparison to other small objects such as the medical syringe (the ones used to take blood.) 

See, not so scary now.. 

Kinda weird name though right? So why is it called dry needling?

Well dry needling is derived from an older technique called ‘trigger point injections.’ This technique involved injecting a liquid substance into the muscle through a hypodermic needle, It was given the name ‘wet’ as there was a substance being used. Since dry needling involves a solid filament needle and no substance injected, the term ‘dry’ is used. 

Now for the big question, How does it work?

The acupuncture needle is most commonly inserted into the trigger point. (This depends on what the therapist is trying to achieve from the needles.) The aim is to permanently reduce the associated pain and aches by restoring the imbalances caused by the trigger point being active and the muscle feeling ‘tight’. 

When the needle is inserted it often but not always creates what is known as a twitch response (a feeling that is kind of like a cramp.) The twitch response occurs because the muscle is having a healing response to the acupuncture needle being inserted causing the chemical imbalance that created the the trigger point to start repairing. This then leads to a decrease in tension, enabling the muscle’s normal functions to be resumed.

Why would your practitioner use dry needling?

Dry needling endeavours to relieve all kinds of pain in the body by relaxing the trigger points in muscles. Dry needling is fantastic for almost anyone experiencing a variety of pain problems including, but not limited to:

• Acute/Chronic injuries

• Headaches

• Neck/Back pain

• Tendinitis

• Muscle Spasms

• "Sciatica" 

• Hip/Knee pain 

• Strains and Sprains 

• Sporting injuries

• "Tennis/Golfer's Elbow"

• General aches/pain

• Overuse injuries

So there you go, if you have had dry needling done before, now you know a little more about it. 

And if you have never had it done, hopefully you are more informed and feel more comfortable making a decision to give it a go. 

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