What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is the insertion of a very fine, sterile needle into tight and stiff muscles (also known as ‘trigger points’). The aim is to relieve pain caused by these muscles by reducing tenderness. Dry needling can also help to increase the circulation to a muscle. It is an effective treatment for regaining movement and alleviating pain.
Dry Needling can be beneficial for a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, including (but not limited to): low back pain, tension headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, buttock pain, calf tightness/spasms.
How does it actually work?
In simple terms the needle releases those stubborn tight muscles. Usually the needle is left in for a minute, or several minutes. The Physiotherapist may also ‘fan’ or move the needle to elicit a twitch. This causes the muscle to loosen and as a result alleviates pain in that area.
What does it feel like? Is it painful?
Most clients describe a cramping sensation, or a small electric shock feeling – some find it hard to describe, others don’t feel the needle go in at all!
Are there any side- effects?
You may feel a temporary ache (or sometimes tightness) in the area – this should dissipate within 24 hours. Side effects are usually mild, and may include bruising, fatigue and a temporary increase in pain. Dry Needling is a safe technique, and the side effects are minimal compared to drugs or surgery.
Often people ask about the risk of infection. Strict regulations require an aseptic procedure, involving a sterilised needle, with single use (per client), alcohol swab wipes, adequate practitioner hygiene (hand washing) and correct disposal of needle (sharps bin). Infectious status must be declared via the client (usually via a New Client form) and likewise the practitioner is responsible to have no infectious status.
Trained health professionals have the anatomical knowledge and practice to avoid any areas of the body which may impose more risk. So yes, Dry Needling is very safe!
Ongoing muscle soreness or stiffness? Dry needling may well be the solution. Call us on 6110 3331 or book an appointment online to discuss how dry needling can help you.