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Dry Needling - All you need to know

What is Dry needling?

The origins of dry needling come from western medicine techniques with scientific based research. You may have heard of acupuncture which is based on eastern traditions and dry needling is similar but aims to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain. The only similarity that the two share is that they use a common tool, a fine needle.

During a dry needling session, trigger points within the body will be located by the therapist and needles will be utilized to alleviate them leading to an decrease in pain and an increase in range of motion.

Many clients that have had dry needling treatment claim that the needles lead to a warming sensation within the body and make areas that are treated feel loose and less tense.

Current research

Research has found that the correct use of dry needling can lead to a decrease in muscular pain by 50% or more within two sessions. The process is normally quick, easy, minimally invasive and clients show minimal discomfort. Further studies have suggested that dry needling showed a significant decrease in pain immediately after needling, even distal to the actual size of the trigger point.

The effectiveness of dry needling has been confirmed in numerous studies and two comprehensive systematic reviews. It was shown that dry needling can be used as part of a complex treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain and also aid recovery in more acute cases. The effectiveness of the technique has also been proven in the treatment of lower back pain both short and long term (Gunn Et al. 1980).

It is however important to remember that dry needling does not solve all trigger point issues as sometimes trigger points can be a result of asymmetry, imbalance, postural defects or rotational forces of the spine.

Is dry needling for me?

Anyone can participate in a dry needling session if suffering from muscle soreness, chronic issues, muscle tightness or decreased range of motion within a joint. Needles can be used in all major muscle groups such as the lower back, neck, shoulders, upper leg and lower leg muscles. Dry needling is normally accompanied by the use of soft tissue techniques such as deep tissue massage or if preferred a more superficial relaxing massage.

It’s important to speak to a medical professional to see if you’d benefit from the use of dry needling and soft tissue techniques before booking in for a session.

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