Therapist – Karen
Consultation and First Treatment | 60 mins | £62.50
Dry Needling Treatment | 20 mins | £20
What is dry needling?
Inserting fine needles through the skin into soft tissue.
Effectively used by physiotherapists and other Sports TherapistsDr for years.
Thought to effect the nervous systems as well as initiate a healing response.
Most effectively used in combination with other therapies including exercise rehab.
Dry needling is a therapy technique that introduces a fine, solid needle into the skin and deeper into the muscles, fascia, tendons and joints. Dry needling is a broad term and generally refers to ‘non-injection’ needling rather than ‘injection needling’ which utilises a hypodermic syringe and involves the injection into the body of a substance such as local anaesthetic, saline or cortisone.
Dry needling was first developed by Czech physician Karl Lewit in the 1980s as myofascial trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) became better understood.
Trigger points are extremely irritable spots in muscles and are associated with pain production and the maintenance of the pain cycle.
Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by several areas of musculoskeletal pain and tenderness; the pain is deep and aching and can be accompanied by a burning sensation. Myofascial pain can result from trauma, overuse, or prolonged static contraction of a muscle or muscle group (for example, sitting at a desk or working at a computer for an extended period of time).
Myofascia, or facia, is a layer of dense, strong tissue that surrounds and covers all your muscles and bones. It can be thought of as an all-over ‘body suit’ that runs from the top of your head all the way to the soles of your feet. When it is healthy, Myofascia is relaxed, soft and flexible and will resemble a weave pattern when examined under a microscope. When injured, stressed or traumatised the Myofascia becomes rigid, less flexible and, like a weave, will show as ‘pulled’ or ‘snagged’ under a microscope. This is part of the reason why injury in one area can sometimes result in pain in another area.
How does dry needling work?
The therapeutic effect of dry needling relies on the mechanical disruption or direct stimulation of Trigger points. Introducing a needle into the muscle will elicit a ‘local twitch response.’ This response is an involuntary contraction of the muscle that in turn allows the muscle to relax. In addition, by creating microtrauma sites in the muscles, dry needling stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. Dry needling has also been shown to have an analgesic (pain killing) effect which has come to be known as the ‘needle effect’.
Physiotherapists use dry needling as part of myofascial release therapy. This therapy uses pressure and twitch reflexes to relax muscles and fascia in order to relive tension and pain.
Why is dry needling used in conjunction with physiotherapy?
MPS has a history of effective treatment by traditional manual therapy alone. However, Trigger points are often located deep in the muscle and are difficult or impossible to reach with hands or manual manipulation techniques alone. Needles are effective in reaching these spots which makes the combination of the different therapy techniques very effective.
Research has also shown that dry needling is most effective when used in conjunction with stretching and other traditional techniques. This is why many Sports Therapists now include dry needling as part of their treatment.
What is it effective in treating?
Dry needling is effective in relieving Myofacial pain and tension. This type of pain can be found all over the body but is common in the lower and upper back, neck, jaw and knees.
How is dry needling different to acupuncture?
Dry needling will introduce needles deep into the skin and muscles. The technique uses knowledge of anatomy and physiology to select the needling sites known as trigger points. Trigger points can be found in muscles throughout the body, depending on how the injury was acquired and how long it has been present.
Acupuncture originated in China at least 2000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Acupuncture will introduce needles only a few millimetres deep into the skin and only at points along the body’s meridians. Acupuncture works to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi (‘life energy’) through the individual; stimulating meridian points aims to restore and rebalance the flow of good qi.
At Miles and Green Clinic, our therapists do not practice acupuncture.