What is Dry Needling? - iPHYSIO Australia

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling at iPhysio

Dry needling is a specialized treatment approach utilized by physiotherapists to address a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Unlike traditional acupuncture, which stems from ancient Chinese medicine and focuses on restoring the flow of energy or “qi” along specific meridians, dry needling has a distinct Western medical foundation.

therapist pricking skin with needles during treatment

Defining Dry Needling

In dry needling, ultra-thin, sterile needles are placed into specific trigger points within the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or near nerves. These trigger points are taut bands of muscle fibres that can be sensitive to touch and often contribute to pain and dysfunction.

How Does Dry Needling Work?

The main objective of dry needling is to elicit a local twitch response. This involuntary, momentary contraction of the muscle fibres around the needle is a key mechanism through which dry needling exerts its therapeutic effects.

This twitch response serves several purposes:

  1. Increased Blood Flow: The twitch response stimulates blood flow to the affected area, facilitating the delivery of oxygen and nutrients necessary for tissue healing and repair.
  2. Release of Muscle Knots: Trigger points, or muscle knots, can contribute to pain and restricted movement. The twitch response helps release these knots, allowing the muscle to return to its optimal length and function.
  3. Reduced Pain and Tension: By targeting the source of pain and tension within the muscle, dry needling can provide rapid relief and promote relaxation.
  4. Improved Range of Motion: As muscle tension decreases and mobility is restored, patients often experience an improvement in their range of motion.

Conditions Treated with Dry Needling

Dry needling can be highly effective in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Muscle Strains and Sprains
  • Tendonitis and Tendinopathy
  • Joint Pain and Dysfunction
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Sciatica and Nerve Pain
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Person holding silver and white needle

Is Dry Needling Right for You?

The decision to incorporate dry needling into a treatment plan is individualized and based on a thorough assessment by our physiotherapists. It is a safe and well-tolerated technique when administered by a trained and licensed professional.

If you’re curious about whether dry needling could benefit you, or if you have any questions regarding this innovative treatment approach, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to support you on your journey towards optimal health and well-being, using all the tools at our disposal.

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