What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is a treatment with very successful results. It which uses very thin (acupuncture) needles without any medication (a dry needle) to achieve its aim. Dry needling is used to treat pain and dysfunction caused by muscle problems, headaches, and some nerve problems. It is not at all the same as acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, whereas dry needling is a western medicine technique.
How does it work?
Dry Needling works by changing the way your body senses pain and by helping the body heal stubborn muscle spasm associated with trigger points. There are additional electrical and chemical changes in the body associated with dry needling therapy which assist in the healing process. It is important to see the needles as just one part of your overall rehabilitative treatment. Dry needling is not a miracle cure it is a normal part of your treatment. It is vital that you do the exercises and follow the advice your therapist gives you in conjunction with the needling for optimal recovery.
A length and thickness of needle appropriate for your condition and your body size will be used and then inserted through the skin at the appropriate place. During the needling treatment, it is important not to move until told to. You will feel a small pinprick. Depending on the type of needle technique chosen by your therapist, you may also feel a muscle ache and a muscle twitch. These are all normal and aimed for sensations, and mean that you will experience good relief from your symptoms. It is normal to feel sore for 24-48 hours after, while the body heals itself. It is important not to exert yourself in this period, gentle stretching is allowed.
Are there any risks?
In general, there is very little risk associated with this technique if performed properly by a trained practitioner. You may have a little bruising around the needle site, much the same as you would with any injection. On rare occasions, people may feel very happy, tearful, sweaty or cold. These symptoms all fade quickly. Fainting may occur in a very small minority of people. There are no lasting ill effects of these side effects.
The risk of infection is negligible. All needles used are single use only and individually packed in sterilised sealed packaging. Once used each needle is disposed of in a sharps box which is turn disposed of by a specialist removal company. All appropriate skin surfaces will be treated with antibacterial spray, gel or wipes for added protection.