How does Dry Needling work?

With Dry Needling, the needles are used to target the trigger point of the problem muscle, this is known as the myofascial trigger point and is often described as a muscle ‘knot’ which contributes to muscle pain and dysfunction.

The needle is gently inserted into the skin directly at this point and often a local twitch response is experienced, this is a good sign and is what the physiotherapist is looking for. It means the trigger point has been stimulated, jump starting the muscle and nerve supply and increasing the blood flow to the area which helps to relax the muscle.  When this local twitch response occurs, a brief painful response might be felt but it won’t last for more than a second.

After dry needling treatment, the area that was treated will feel much softer and relaxed and the person will feel looser.

How is it different to acupuncture?

At first glance, both techniques have a lot of similarities but when it comes down to it they are quite different. With acupuncture the focus is on restoring the balance and flow of energy in the body by putting needles in several points throughout the body and leaving them in place to do their work. Whereas with dry needling, the physiotherapist inserts and removes the needle a couple of times focusing on one particular problem area to achieve pain relief. Dry Needling is also a more modern technique than acupuncture.

One technique might be more appropriate than the other depending on your condition, so let us guide you on what would be the best option for you. We have Chartered Physiotherapists trained in either Dry Needling or Acupuncture. Both techniques can be performed on their own or can be combined with Physiotherapy and exercise therapy.