Myofascial Dry Needling draws on the ancient healing art of Acupuncture, targeting the body’s “trigger-points” with super-fine acupuncture needles. Dry Needling focuses on the specific location of muscle pain and differs from Acupuncture in that a traditional medicine approach is not being used.
What is a Trigger Point? A hyperirritable spot, a tender nodule in a palpable taut band of skeletal muscle. Direct compression or muscle contraction can elicit a “jump sign”, a Local Twitch Response, and generate local and/or Referred Pain. Possible causes of Myofascial Trigger Points include:
- Poor posture
- Stress and Anxiety
- Compression of nerves
Dry needling involves inserting the fine needles into the skin and then deeper into the Myofascial Trigger Points. Doing this ‘deactivates’ any muscle bundles that are contracted, changing the tone within the muscle, allowing it to relax. Dry needling can restore muscle activation and strength, as well as range of motion.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the positive effect that inserting a needle has on the electrical and chemical communications that take place in our nervous system. These include inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in our spinal cord and increasing the release of our own pain-relieving chemicals within our brains.
Research shows that dry needling decreases pain in patients with Chronic low back pain. A Cochrane review (2005) of RCTs concluded that trigger point dry needling may be beneficial for low back pain when used in combination with other treatments, such as chiropractic.
Is Dry Needling Safe?
Yes, dry needling is a safe treatment. At Shoalwater Chiropractic, we are trained in using a ‘clean’ technique and only individually packaged, single-use, sterile needles are used. The needles are very fine (.16-.30mm), and very rarely does any bleeding or bruising occurs at the insertion site. Some local pain or a feeling of tenderness is sometimes experienced following a dry-needle treatment, this is easily alleviated using heat packs and stretching.
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