What is dry needling?

Trigger-point dry needling is a form of manual therapy. All our Chartered Physiotherapist have undergone specialised post-graduate training in the application of dry needling therapy. It is a targeted technique aimed at myofascial trigger points which are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. These trigger points are highly sensitive, can be painful when touched, and may cause referred pain.  Dry needling involves the insertion of an acupuncture needle (a very fine, solid filament needle) into tissue such as muscle and fascia. The pinprick action stimulates the oxygenation of the contracted muscle fibres and the fascia and may produce a short contraction or ‘twitch’ response of the taut band. Trigger point dry needling can be carried out at a superficial or deep tissue level. Dry needling is employed for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal pain and dysfunction including but not necessarily limited to myofascial trigger point pain and dysfunction, soft tissues, muscle tension, scar tissue and pain.

In our practice, dry needling is always performed in conjunction with other techniques to produce lasting results. The evidence base for the use of dry needling across various areas of physiotherapy has increased substantially. Conditions include:

  • acute and chronic back pain

  • acute and chronic neck pain
  • whiplash
  • tension type and migraine headaches
  • pelvic girdle pain
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • lateral elbow pain
  • shoulder conditions
  • fibromyalgia

What is Medical Acupuncture?

Many people are familiar with the use of acupuncture which has been used for over 2000 years in a traditional Chinese sense. Traditional acupuncture aims to change body functions & pain through needling the bodies meridians, which are the Chinese medicine energy channels for chi or qi to flow (life energy). These meridians are points on or just under the skin that are either ying or yang energy. The western medical acupuncture is an adaptation of traditional Chinese acupuncture as it uses anatomy, physiology, pathology and evidence based medicine in its application. Some of our Chartered Physiotherapists have completed post graduate training in the use of acupuncture for musculoskeletal conditions taking a ‘western medicine’ approach. They have trained with the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in the United Kingdom. Our Chartered Physiotherapists commonly use medical acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal pain.

What’s the difference between acupuncture & dry needling?

The use of an acupuncture needle aims to stimulate the necessary points to balance the flow of ying & yang energy. Although dry needling uses acupuncture needles it differs to traditional acupuncture. Dry needling follow evidence based guidelines and recommended ‘point’ location. Both acupuncture and dry needling offers a safe, natural and effective treatment for many injuries and conditions.