Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a treatment which effectively releases muscle tension and pain by inserting thin, non-hollow, needles into trigger points (muscle knots/crunchy muscles). These needles are extremely thin in diameter, are made from stainless steel and are sterile. Although this process sounds similar to acupuncture at face value, the aims of each procedure are different. Acupuncture aims to balance the patients energy and claims to boost well-being alongside certain illnesses. Dry Needling is a process used solely to treat muscle disorders.

How Does this Release Tension?

If contracted muscle fibres are left untreated, the tissues can become damaged as the flow of blood, nutrients, and oxygen is hindered. Damaged muscle fibres are held tight by a build up of scar-tissue and the muscles’ ability to release cellular waste is restricted. Dry needling causes the trigger point to relax by eliciting a local twitch response (LTR). An LTR is an automatic reflex sent by the spinal cord which causes the muscle fibres within trigger point to contract; upon contraction, the body releases natural opioids. These opioids are comparable to morphine in terms of their ability to alleviate pain. Furthermore, the muscle cells damaged by the needle lesion will be replaced or repaired within 10 -15 days after the procedure.

What Conditions can Dry Needling Treat?

This procedure can help restore muscle movement and alleviate the pain associated with many types of muscle injuries such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, tennis elbow, sciatica, tension headaches and more. Our highly trained therapists will be able to advise whether you may benefit from this treatment.

What Should You Expect?

Many patients are surprised by how painless the dry needling the procedure is. Each needle is inserted and left for approximately 3-5 minutes before being removed and disposed. Patients occasionally report irritated or burning sensations where the needle was inserted but these will be short-lived. Other side effects include muscle ache, cramping, muscle relaxation, euphoria, dizziness or nausea. Occasionally, when a needle is inserted, patients may experience a pain outwith the trigger point area; each trigger point can refer pain to another part of the body. This pain is nothing to worry about, it indicates the needle is correctly inserted and relieving the tautness.

Does Dry Needling Have any Side Effects?

As with many medical procedures, it is possible for complications to arise. Known side effects include:

  • Fatigue & Tiredness: This may happen due to the body needing to exert more energy to dispose of cellular waste and to repair the muscle tissue.
  • Bruising / Bleeding: This is uncommon buy may occur to patients who have blood disorders.
  • A Temporary Increase In Pain: The pain may lessen without aid and can usually be treated with light massage or gentle stretching. This typically occurs between 24-48 hours after treatment.
  • Pneumothorax: Is a collapsed lung and is a very rare side effect. This risk can be mitigated by seeking treatment from trained professionals, such as our therapists at Subiaco Physiotherapy.

How to Book an Appointment?

Appointments can be made here or by calling us on 08 9381 2964.