Dry Needling, sometimes referred to as Western Medical Acupuncture, is the use of very fine needles to treat muscular pain and dysfunction.
Myofascial, or muscular pain and tightness can begin to develop with what we call long term micro-trauma. This is different from what we might normally think of when we think about trauma, such as an ankle sprain or muscle tear.
Micro-trauma is the gradual build up of micro-damage and inflammation in muscles. It can result in pain, tightness and a lack of mobility, often contributing to the neck pain, headaches or back pain that many of our patients have problems with.
Dry Needling is a useful method of treating this kind of muscle pain, quickly and effectively.
Our patients often find it to be surprisingly relieving, and not nearly as painful as they might have expected!
But how does sticking these very fine needles into sore bits of muscle actually work?
There are a few different theories as to why Dry Needling works.
- Internal ‘pain-killer’ response – a needle is a foreign object to our body and so introducing it fires up our natural defense response, reducing pain and inflammation in the muscle
- Increased blood flow – Dry Needling causes a slight irritation of the muscle, causing a large increase of blood flow into the area, removing inflammation and waste products
- Decreasing muscle tightness – needles activate a reflex arc in muscles which causes them to relax, and helps with that familiar muscle tightness or local spasm
Isn’t that just the same as Acupuncture?
Although both Dry Needling and Acupuncture use the same fine fusiform needles, the purpose of the two different approaches is different. Traditional Acupuncturists use needling to unblock energy channels, called Meridians,which is proposed to benefit a whole range of ailments. In contrast, Dry Needling aims to treat muscular pain and dysfunction, which may be involved in a variety of pain conditions and injuries.
Does Dry Needling Hurt?
As we already mentioned, Dry Needling is not as painful as many people fear! In fact it is generally well tolerated and very relieving. However it may not be suitable for those with true needle phobias.
At Walter Road Chiropractic we use Dry Needling as part of our patient-centred treatment approach for back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries and many more.
Our Morley Chiropractic Clinic services the areas around us including Beechboro, Yokine, Dianella, Noranda, Bedford, and Embleton.