What is Dry needling?
Dry needling involves the use of filiform needles (the same needles used in acupuncture), to treat myofascial trigger points that can cause acute and chronic pain; resulting biomechanical dysfunction.
Dry needling of the ‘shortened’ or ‘tight’ muscle band results in a reflex relaxation, which is palpable. This is accompanied by a reduction in pain and an increased range of motion.
It can be used to treat any condition where muscle pain or tightness is an issue, a few examples include:
- Neck Pain
- Back Pain
- Tennis elbow
- ITB syndrome
- Anterior knee pain
- Shin Pain and tightness
- Calf pain and tightness
Is dry needling safe and what does it feel like?
It is very safe for most people (like all treatments there are certain conditions where it is contra-indicated). Your therapist will choose a needle depending on your condition and body size. It is then inserted into the appropriate area, and you will feel a small prick. Depending on the technique, you may feel a muscle ache and a muscle twitch. These are all normal and good responses. Sarah Brady (et al) recently completed research into responses to dry needling. This will be published in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in the near future. That study found that common responses were: bruising, minor bleeding, pain during treatment and pain after treatment. Other less common responses (1-10 per 1000 treatments) were aggravation of symptoms, drowsiness, headache and nausea. If you are getting needled in the neck, shoulder or chest area there are additional risks that your physiotherapist will discuss with you.
Our clinic director, Aileen MaGuire, is a certified dry needling practitioner.
To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.