Muscle soreness and tightness is a common complaint that brings clients through the doors of a physiotherapy clinic. Sport, recreational fitness, or even ergonomic strain can result in muscle tightness that can limit our ability to move pain-free. Dry needling is a specialized skill that physiotherapists can offer to relieve pain and improve mobility.
Dry Needling is a treatment technique that involves the insertion of a thin acupuncture needle into a tight and shortened muscle to help it relax and function better. It is common to confuse acupuncture and dry needling for the same technique, yet while acupuncture utilizes the traditional Chinese healing properties of the Qi, dry needling is a Western medicine approach to pain relief.
Dry needling can be utilized in almost any muscle in the body for a wide variety of myofascial conditions including low back pain, tennis elbow, whiplash, and headaches. Painful muscles often contain tight bands called trigger points or what are perceived as “knots.” When the needle is inserted into one of these points a local twitch response is elicited. This response is then thought to decrease the spontaneous electrical activity of the muscle which then increases relaxation of the tissue. There is often some level of discomfort following the technique however most clients report noticeable improvement within 24 hours. Most conditions may require several needling sessions to achieve resolution.
Physiotherapists can safely combine dry needling with other common physiotherapy techniques, such as manual therapy and exercise prescription to achieve a more comprehensive treatment for the client. At K-TOWN Physiotherapy many of our physiotherapists are trained and well experienced in the practice of dry needling so if you think this technique may be helpful in treating your injury call one of our clinics today to book an assessment.
Integrated Dry Needling, WPC, 2022 - www.integrateddryneedling.ca