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Dry Needling…and how is it different to Acupuncture???

What are the benefits of being a pin cushion?

Dry needling can be used as a treatment modality by our Osteopaths to help treat muscle pain, trigger points, spasm and tightness. It is described as “dry needling” because no fluid is being injected or removed. In fact, the needles required for this technique can be as thin as a human hair.

Dry needling and acupuncture can often be confused. Although the technique of inserting the needle is very similar their philosophy and approach is very different.

Acupuncture is based on Chinese Medicine principles, and works with meridian lines. This involves needles being inserted into specific acupuncture points which relate to different regions and organs of the body.

In contrast, Dry needling inserts needles into muscle trigger points. These are often referred to as tight “knots” in muscles that causes pain locally and in surrounding tissues.

So why do we do it?

Dry needling can treat both acute and chronic injuries, spanning from headaches and neck pain to muscle spasm and tendonitis. This adds another technique to our bag of tricks to enable you to get the most out of your treatment, have less pain and more movement!

The benefits of Dry Needling include:

  • Increased blood flow to the region which provides nutrients and removes waste.
  • Produces a local twitch response which changes the local neural input into the muscle which then allows the muscle to relax so it isn’t so tight and bound up.
  • Breaks up adhesions in the muscle.
  • Improves muscle function
  • Improves muscle flexibility which in turn can help improve joint flexibility

And now, the million dollar question… Does it hurt?!

Some people can feel the prick of the needle as it is inserted, and some feel a small deep ache or cramp. Or when the muscle gets the “twitch response” it can be uncomfortable – but this is a normal reaction! There can be no post treatment soreness or there may be a feeling of heaviness or slight dull ache after. And some people also do not feel a thing! It is very variable! And one way or the other, whether there Is pain or not during or after, it has no consequence on the positive effect of dry needling itself!

All of our Osteopath’s at St Kilda Osteopathy have undergone further training in Dry Needling, allowing a more diverse treatment for you.

Categories: General Information