What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling also known as Intra Muscular Stimulation (IMS) is a process which involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into muscles in order to alleviate pain and stimulate healing. Generally this technique is used in the treatment of injuries and their associated pain. The filiform needle is inserted directly into the myofacial trigger point which acts to increase circulation and thus speed up the repair of the surrounding tissue.
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is an area of muscle which has been over exerted, this area is commonly referred to as a knot. Patients will find that the pain is localised around this area. Dry Needling acts to release this knot. The needle insertion will have some what of an anaesthetic effect on the trigger point and is therefore a useful method of pain relief.
What are the benefits of Dry Needling?
Dry needling has a number of benefits which include:
- Pain relief
- Increased circulation of blood
- Promotion of healing
- Increased range of motion
- Increased strength and functionality of the muscle
- Return of proper biomechanics
What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?
The difference between the two modalities lies solely in the philosophy behind the two. Dry needling focusses on pin pointing areas in the muscle with increased tension and is based on modern western science. In contrast acupuncture focusses more on the energistic principals outlined in Chinese Traditional Medicine and will act to promote the correct flow of energy throughout the body. The two approaches differ most significantly in there different choice of placement of the needles for the same condition. Furthermore dry needling focusses only on physiological conditions, where as acupuncture can be used for emotional as well as physical conditions.
Does Dry Needling hurt?
Generally Dry Needling is pain free. The needles used are extremely thin and when inserted properly should barely be felt. Patients may report a slight twitch response upon insertion which can cause a moment of tingling, or a reproduction of the pain they are experiencing in that muscle.