Trigger Point Dry Needling is a technique used primarily to desensitise supersensitive muscles and to restore motion and function. It uses small needles inserted directly into the muscles or fascia to deactivate trigger points and ‘loosen’ shortened muscles. During treatment the Physiotherapist illicits a local twitch response in the affected muscle, which has a range of effects in the tissue, including increased blood flow, stimulation of nerve fibres and inhibition of pain pathways.
Is it the same as Acupuncture?
Acupuncture refers to the use of fine filament needles in the application of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). While the needles are the same, the TCM practitioner is not specifically looking for taut areas in the muscle, nor trying to reduce their activity by needling them directly. Likewise, a dry needling practitioner does not follow the theory of the meridians of the body, has no knowledge of the theories and philosophy of TCM, and does not claim to be a registered Acupuncturist. The tools chosen may be the same but the techniques used and the philosophy behind their application are completely different.
Dry needling may be applied wherever the therapist has assessed that the presence of myofascial trigger points are contributing to the patient’s pain or dysfunction and can be used for conditions including:
Shoulder injuries – rotator cuff tears, A/C joint injuries
Lower back pain
Anterior Knee pain
At PhysioTrain we find it very useful particularly in the muscles around the shoulder, the lower back and the calf. Please speak with your PhysioTrain practitioner if you would like to make an appointment for dry needling.