What is Dry Needling exactly?
Dry Needling is a needling method used to reduce pain by stimulating and consequently deactivating irritable muscle trigger points.
It is similar to acupuncture, however it follows a slightly different rationale.
Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine methods whereby the needle is inserted into acupuncture points along a meridian to allow the free flow of energy (also known as Qi).
Dry needling is based on Western Medicine methods, whereby the needle is directed towards an irritable and thick band of muscle known as a “trigger point”. The aim of this method is to produce a local twitch response (hypercontraction) in the muscle that is followed by muscle relaxation and analgesia.
With increased awareness of benefits of the therapy, the treatment method is being used more by practitioners including Osteopaths, Myotherapists, Physio and Podiatrists.
What does it feel like? Will it hurt?
The needles used are called filament needles. They are extremely fine and cause patients relatively minimal pain during insertion. As the needle is inserted, you may feel a superficial pinch to the skin, almost like a mosquito bite.
As the needle is inserted deeper into the belly of the muscle it may illicit a local twitch response (hypercontraction), similar to a rapid cramp that will only last a fraction of a second.
Following the session, and in particular your first session, the muscle will likely ache for 24-36 hours. Almost like when you have a flu needle and your arm aches for a day or so.
What else can help my needling sessions?
To maximise the benefit of dry needling it is used in collaboration with a number of other therapies.
We utilise soft tissue massage pre- and post-needling to further enhance muscular relaxation.
We recommended to use of a heat pack to the affected muscles in the initial stages following needling and will prescribe stretching exercises to be performed at home between sessions.
This combination of therapies will provide you with the most benefit from dry needling.
Dry Needling by Podiatrists
Dry Needling is performed as part of an overall management plan and will not be used solely (pardon the pun) to treat your lower leg or foot injury.
Our Podiatrists have completed the extra study to be qualified to perform Dry Needling as part of our Podiatry Services and will only perform it if they believe it to be beneficial in your Recommended Management Plan.