We live in a fast-paced society and are constantly juggling responsibilities in our work, family and community. Stress builds up but there’s so much to do that you never really give your body the time to recover.
There’s only so long your body can cope under this kind of pressure before something gives. Drive your car fast enough for long enough and something will go wrong. It’s like that with your body. Your muscles become tight and sore to touch, with some particularly tender spots. We call these trigger points – and we use dry needling to relieve the pain and loosen your muscles.
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a treatment for sore, knotted muscles performed by a skilled, trained therapist.
We examine you and find the trigger points that need release, for example, in your calf muscle. Then we take very fine needles and push it through your skin and into that knot in your muscle. When the needle is inserted, the muscle twitches in response, and this brings immediate and palpable relaxation. We leave the needles in place for a few minutes to let the muscle relax then we pull them out.
Dry Needling Benefits
Releasing the muscle spasm means you can move freely once more. It will also help you gain more control over the muscle function, so you can activate and deactivate it without cramping.
Using dry needling on a trigger point can help to reduce muscle tightness, increase healing blood flow and reduce pain in the affected muscle and elsewhere.
For maximum benefit, dry needling is often combined with other treatment such as stretches and exercises to strengthen your body.
Which Conditions Benefit From Dry Needling?
Many musculoskeletal conditions benefit from dry needling, including problems affecting the soft tissues of your:
If you’re struggling with conditions like plantar fasciitis, bursitis, whiplash or rotator cuff injuries, then dry needling may also help.
Dry needling isn’t for everyone though. It’s not recommended if you:
- Are in the first trimester of pregnancy
- Are recovering from surgery
- Have lymphedema
- Have a blood-clotting disorder
- Are on blood-thinning medicine.
Does Dry Needling Hurt?
We’re frequently asked this because, perhaps unsurprisingly, most people feel a little bit nervous at the thought of being needled.
To reassure you, the needles are incredibly fine, meaning they’re unlikely to hurt you. You may feel a small pricking sensation when they are inserted and it may feel a little odd to lie there with needles in your body, but it shouldn’t be painful, though everyone’s reactions vary.
If you’re keen to try dry needling but anxious about the needles, then please tell us. We will do everything we can to help you feel comfortable so that you can benefit from the treatment.
Is Dry Needling the Same as Acupuncture?
There are similarities between dry needling and acupuncture as both involve using needles as a form of treatment for muscle injuries.
But they are different, drawn from different traditions of medicine and used for different purposes.
Acupuncture is an ages-old practice in traditional Chinese medicine. The needles are used to stimulate certain areas of your body to alter the flow of Qi, or energy and restore balance.
Dry needling has grown from our understanding of the musculoskeletal system, gained from a Western scientific and medical tradition. Its purpose is to release trigger points in your tight and sore muscles to help you move more easily.
Should I Try Dry Needling?
If you have a musculoskeletal problem like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or heel pain, please come and see us. Once we’ve examined you, we can recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include some dry needling sessions.
If you’re interested in dry needling to relieve your pain, please call us at Relinque Sports and Spinal Group on 03 9499 9644.