What is dry needling?

Dry needling involves inserting a very thin needle into a muscle in order to reduce muscle tension and pain.

How does it work?

There is considerable evidence available that dry needling works. However, there are various theories that have been studied to try to explain exactly how it works. 

Common theories include driving a reflex response to relax the muscle or causing microtrauma which increases bloodflow to the area.

 

How is it different to acupuncture?

Acupuncture has strong roots in chinese medicine, where the focus is on “meridian points”, specific points on the body traditionally known for their therapeutic benefits.

Dry needling, primarily practised by physios,  focuses more on palpation, treating areas that feel tight and in pain, similar to massage.

When should I expect dry needling?

Your therapist may suggest the use of dry needling as part of your treatment if you suffer from muscle tightness and pain. In particular, dry needling is indicated if there is the presence of “trigger points” – specific tight areas of muscle tissue that refer pain around the area.

 

Is it safe?

Our practitioners have completed additional specific training in the safe use of dry needling, meaning that they have a good knowledge of anatomy and safe sites of insertion. Complications from dry needling are very rare. The needles are individually packaged, single-use, sterilised needles which are so fine that bleeding or bruising at the insertion site is very uncommon.

 

Is it painful?

Much like other treatments such as massage, the intensity of dry needling can vary from person to person. Typically, you should expect a dull muscle ache as the muscle responds to the needle, followed by a pleasant feeling or one of relaxation. Some people may experience a little soreness for some time following treatment, which can be relieved by the application of ice or heat.

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