Dry Needling is a successful tool used by physiotherapists to treat pain and dysfunction, particularly in conditions caused by muscular pain, as well as specific conditions such as phantom limb pain, Sinusitis, headaches, and sometimes nerve problems.
Dry Needling uses thin needles which are inserted into a specific part of your body by the therapist. After a pin prick sensation, one may feel a numbness, aching or cramping feeling, which are all good signs.
When Dry Needling is used, it disrupts the tissue into which it is inserted, resulting in the stimulation of the healing process (that may not have otherwise occurred) and stops the pain message being sent to your brain (by altering your experience of pain, amongst other processes).
Dry Needling can be confused with acupuncture. However, while they may use similar needles, acupuncture is based on traditional chinese medicine and is based on locating meridian points with the aim of releasing any blocks in your energy flow. In contrast, Dry needling has developed fairly recently and this western technique is based on scientific research and is aimed at locating specific abnormalities within the anatomical structures of the body (e.g. trigger points in a muscle).
Once you have had Dry Needling, there is a slight chance that you feel sweaty, emotional, dizzy, tired, nauseous or faint. These symptoms will go away after a short period.
There is also a minimal risk when working around the chest area that a pneumothorax might occur. This results in shortness of breath, a sharp pain when breathing in, bluish lips and trouble breathing. Should this occur, it is important to remain calm and get to a hospital as soon as possible, where it can be treated easily and successfully. A pneumothorax however, rarely occurs.
Things to tell your physiotherapist about if you are considering Dry Needling
- Allergy to surgical steel
- Acute Cardiac Arrhythmias
- Infection in the area to be Needled