Dry needling is fast gaining more appreciation and is now a common method used to assist in pain and rehabilitation. It certainly is a treatment of choice when it comes to acute injuries, muscle spasms or tightness. I personally found myself interested in dry needling from an early stage due to my heavy involvement in sport, basketball in particular. In this blog I wanted to answer some common questions about dry needling and to highlight its benefits.
Dry Needling Vs Acupuncture?
It is important to know that Acupuncture and Dry Needling are two very distinct modalities. Dry needling is based upon the western medicine paradigm. It is used for soft tissue correction, which involves inserting extremely fine and painless needles into muscle fibres, causing a local twitch response. This in turn helps to deactivate and resolve trigger points in the muscle and release constriction. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and the stimulation of Chi.
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a contraction in a tight band of muscle which causes pain when palpated or squeezed, in a specific site and/or referring to other areas of the body. Trigger points can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or lack of normal range of movement. All Podiatrists’ at Footmed have completed extra study to be qualified to perform dry needling and to understand the common referral patterns.
Dry needling should be performed as part of an overall treatment plan and will not be used alone to treat a foot problem or injury. Needling is especially beneficial for the following;
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Muscle dysfunction
- Muscle relaxation
- To increase joint range of motion and flexibility
- Shin splints
- Pain relief
- Reduction of spasms and cramps
- Aid recovery