Dry Needling - Can it help you?

The Physiotherapists and Myotherapists at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre use dry needling as a treatment technique for musculoskeletal conditions.  

Dry needling is becoming very popular amongst many people seeking Myotherapy and Physiotherapy treatments. It is known for the way it can change muscle tone, tightness, and pain with relative ease. Because of this it has become a valuable addition to the therapist's treatment repertoire.

What is ‘Dry Needling’?

Dry Needling uses very thin needles which are the same as acupuncture needles that penetrate the skin and interact with the muscles and other soft tissues including fascia, ligaments, and nerve tissue. This creates a ‘needle effect’ which influences chemicals at the insertion site, at the level of the spinal cord and the brain. Ultimately this decreases fascial, and muscle tightness and positively changes the perception of pain.

While the needles used are the same, dry needling is vastly different from acupuncture as it does not utilize energy channels in the needle placement. The placement is decided based on the physical, biomechanical and palpation assessment completed by the health practitioner.

What does it feel like?

There are many styles of dry needling which range from light techniques that can occasionally be felt by clients, to strong techniques that would be considered painful. Some people respond well to the more intense techniques, while others prefer the gentler needling. Commonly clients may feel sensations ranging from slight twinges, through to dull aching or a short involuntary muscle contraction known as a twitch. It is common to feel lighter and freer, fatigued or heavy after using these needling techniques, the latter of which is usually resolved by the following day.

Is dry needling dangerous?

When incorporated as part of your treatment in an appropriate manner, dry needling is safe. There are some risks with particular medical conditions which are screened by the treating Physiotherapists and Myotherapists. The risks should always be explained to you before obtaining informed consent before dry needling treatment. 

Why would I look to receive Dry Needling?

There is a growing evidence base for dry needling treatment which includes decreased use of pain medications, incidence and length of headaches and migraines, and when combined with stretching and exercise it has been shown to increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs.

This information was written by Nathan McKeown, Myotherapist and Exercise Physiologist. Nathan is available for Myotherapy consultations at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre throughout the week. He has lectured in Dry Needing at two leading Myotherapy course providers in Victoria.

If you would like to discuss if dry needling could be of benefit for the management of your injury or musculoskeletal problem please phone 9650 9372 to arrange an appointment with Nathan or one of our other Physiotherapists or Myotherapists,  Alternatively you can book online.