Dry needling uses acupuncture-type needles to release myofascial trigger points with the focus on releasing muscular tension and pain, therefore improving joint mobility.
What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling:
The similarity between these two treatment styles stops at the needles utilised. Acupuncture, as a generalisation, tends to be a more superficial style of treatment with the intention of treating energy (“Qi”) imbalances in the body. It is believed that these Qi blockages can be restored by correctly placing needles along energy channels called meridians.
On the other hand, Dry needling treatment treats the neuromuscular system affecting muscle tightness, joint mobility and symptoms of pain and irritability.
What will I experience?
The needles used are very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of this needle. However, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, you will feel a cramping or twitching sensation as the needle deactivates the trigger point. This is very short-lasting sensation, which is commonly accompanied by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation.
Are there any side effects?
As with any form of treatment, there are pros and cons. Your highly trained and skilled therapist will individually assess your current situation to determine that the effects of treatment greatly outweigh the risks. In saying so, the most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your therapist will instruct you on how to minimise this. There are other less common side effects such as bruising. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your therapist.