Dry needling involves inserting a thin sterile needle into myofascial trigger points (i.e., a focal point of over-tension in muscles or connective tissues) that are a common source of pain. The direct stimulation of the “knot” in your muscle allows it to relax and hence reduce your pain and improve function. Dry needling is a treatment technique based on physiological and biomechanical evidence to remove focal areas of tension caused by muscle injury, strain, or overload. This is different from acupuncture used in Traditional Chinese Medicine which targets meridians to influence the flow of “qi”.
Myofascial trigger points often cause pain in the local area, its surroundings, as well as referred pain that spread to other parts of the body. Dry needling is particularly helpful in people who experience:
Back Pain and Sciatica
Neck Pain and Headaches
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Scarring and Reduced Mobility
Dry needling is often painless, but some people do report a pin-prick discomfort when the needle is inserted. The physiotherapist will either spin the needle or perform an up-and-down movement with the needle and you may feel a twitch in the muscle which is an expected and normal reflex response to dry needling before the muscle relaxes.
The needles used are sterile and administered by physiotherapists trained in dry needling to ensure your safety. Our physiotherapists are registered health professionals and experts in human anatomy, physiology and human movement. Their in-depth knowledge of the musculoskeletal system ensures that dry needling is performed specifically and safely. As the needles are only inserted into muscles and connective tissues just beneath the skin, the risk of injury is extremely low. You may experience some post-needling soreness or bruising that generally dissipates in a few days, but this is not harmful and is an expected but less common side effect of dry needling.
At Balance Core, dry needling is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy treatment techniques, and rarely used alone as a sole treatment option. Our physiotherapists will never use a treatment technique that you are not comfortable with. Successful rehabilitation requires a two-way therapeutic alliance between the physiotherapist and patient. Our physiotherapists will be happy to discuss your treatment options and answer any queries that you may have. You can also schedule a call or appointment to find out more about dry needling.