What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is an invasive procedure involving the insertion of a solid filament needle into the skin and fascia directly at a myofascial trigger point. This is an effective way to treat myofascial pain ( aka muscle pain) and dysfunction.
What does Myofascial pain and dysfunction mean?
Myofascial pain refers to pain which comes from specific points in the muscle called myofascial trigger points. In simple terms it is muscle pain.
What are Myofascial Trigger Points?
Myofascial trigger points are tender nodules in a taut band of muslce which are generated by overuse, overstretching or overloading of a muscle. There are 2 types of trigger points:
One that causes pain and symptoms the patient recognises. These will be reproduced with pressure on the trigger point.
One that is only tender when pressure is put on it. The patient will not recognise this as their pain.
Factors such as trauma, temperature changes and/or poor posture can contribute to the development of latent trigger points.
What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
Many acupuncturists practice acupuncture under the frame-work of traditional chinese medicine (TCM) where they treat points along meridian lines where energy blockages can occur.
Dry needling is only used to treat muscle issues that appear to contribute directly to the patients pain and symptoms.
Do you inject anything into the muscle with dry needling?
Characteristics of muslces that have trigger points?
- Local and referred pain
- The muscle will fatigue quicker
- Poor muscle power
- Delayed recovery from normal activity
Myofascial trigger points are common in muscles that are over-used or that have been damaged due to injury.
Is Dry Needling painful?
Most people do not feel the insertion of the needlle but then may feel a dull achy feeling. You may then feel a jump in the muscle called a local twitch response.The local twitch response will elicit a very brief but painful sensation.
How does it work?
The exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known. We do know that inserting the needling into the trigger point cause favourable changes in the biochemical make-up of the trigger point (Shah et al 2008)
How long does it take?
Dry needling can be carried out as part of your normal physiotherapy session ie: 30-40 mins
Will I have post treatment soreness?
You may experience some stiffness for 48 hours after treatment.
Can I exercise after Dry Needling?
To get optimal results it is not advisable to exercise after treatment but your physiotherapist will advise you on appropriate stretches.
How long does it take for the procedure to work?
Usually you will see an increase in flexibility of the muscle treated straight away. It can take up to two days to see an improvement with your pain. One may need a few sessions to get a full pain free result. We are trying to change the chemical make up of the muscle and break a pain cycle.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally you may experience bruising or post treatment soreness. Rare side effects include nausea, dizziness or fatigue. Your physiotherapist will advise you of any particular risks associated with the area being treated.
Can everyone have Dry Needling?
Not everyone can have dry needling. If you are pregnany, have cardiac arrythmias, are on anti-coagulant drugs or allergic to nickle you would not be suitable for dry needling.
Is there an additional charge for Dry Needling?
Yes, there is an additional €5 fee for dry needling.