What is dry needling?
Dry needling (DNT) is a treatment technique aimed at deactivating trigger points by inserting fine acupuncture needles into a muscle belly or musulo-tendinous junction in order to stimulate neurophysiological effects and healing.
How is dry needling different from acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and needle insertion points correspond to the body's meridian lines. The aim of acupuncture is to restore Qi (chi) or life flow to the body's tissues. It uses the same fine needle insertion, but it is often times inserted more shallowly into the skin.
Dry needling involves inserting the same fine needle deeper into the tissues, where an active or latent trigger point may lie. The aim of DNT is to deactivate the trigger point, thereby restoring normal function, strength and pain relief to the muscle and surrounding tissues.
How does dry needling work?
During DNT the therapist aims to elicit a local twitch response in the tissues being needled. This will cause immediate changes to muscle length and can cause changes in motor control. The minute damage the needle causes facilitates healing by stimulating collagen and protein synthesis, endorphin release, local inflammation and a localised immune response.
What condition does it treat?
Sore neck? Pulled something in your last game? Tried the massage and still not quite right? DNT can treat general muscle aches and pains, chronic postural muscle tension, tendinopathies and is often a very useful therapy to employ to target deep muscular sites that are hard to access with manual therapy. It can be the tool which helps take your plateauing recovery to the next level.
And the most important question, does it hurt?
Often the penetration of the skin by the needle is not felt by the client. It is usually only when the needles hit a trigger point, that a pain response is triggered. This pain can be sharp and fleeting or can be like a dull ache in nature.
If you would like to try dry needling, book an appointment with James, Ally or Andrew below!
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