Dry Needling

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Dry Needling involves the advancement of a thin filament acupuncture needle into soft tissues (muscle, tendon or ligament).

The effects of dry needling are
  • In muscle tissue, the aim of Dry Needling is to deactivate a trigger point. This reduces pain and restores normal length and power to the involved muscle.  Dry needling is an excellent treatment for muscular pain.
  • In tendon or ligament tissue, the aim of Dry Needling is to reduce pain and stimulate the healing process. Dry needling is an excellent treatment for tendinopathy and chronic ligamentous overload.
  • The needle used is very thin and most subjects do not even feel it penetrate the skin. As the needle is progressed into the tissue, the subject may feel a twitch response (a gentle twitch in the muscle) and / or a temporary aching discomfort.
Dry needling at Head2Toe

Dry needling is a useful adjunct of physiotherapy treatment at Head 2 Toe. If you and your practitioner choose to use it, it will be used alongside other techniques such as mobilisation, massage, and specifically prescribed exercises. If you are specifically keen on having dry needling as part of your physiotherapy management, please mention it to our reception staff upon booking, as not all the physiotherapy practitioners at Head 2 Toe use dry needling techniques.

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Which injuries benefit from dry needling?

The evidence base for acupuncture or dry needling in various areas of physiotherapy, has increased substantially over the past decade. In particular, research has grown to provide evidence-based support in the treatment of

  • Acute and chronic back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Tension type
  • Migraine headaches
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Lateral elbow pain
  • Shoulder conditions
  • Gluteal tendinopathy
  • Hip bursitis
  • Shinsplints
  • Achilles enthesopathy
  • Hamstring tendinopathy
  • Tennis elbow
Dry Needling
Does it hurt?

The needle used is very thin (up to 10 times thinner than one used for an injection) and most people do not feel the needle pass the skin. Generally only an ache will be felt while the needle is in place.

Are there any side effects to Dry Needling?

Side effects may vary among individuals. Typically, only mild muscle soreness or skin bruising.

What is a “trigger point”?

A myofascial “trigger point” is a hyperirritable point in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or “knot”. This area becomes painful at the site and can also “radiate” in predictable patterns.

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