The Brisbane Spine Clinic offers dry needling as part of a larger holistic treatment plan with a goal of stimulating the healing process and releasing or deactivating trigger points, to help relieve pain and improve range of motion.
Dry needling is a technique that releases sore spots in muscle fibres known as myofascial trigger points by inserting a fine needle that makes the muscle twitch and then relax.
Myofascial trigger points can form if your muscle hasn’t managed to lengthen and relax after being used. That can happen if you’ve experienced an injury, overused the muscle, held a lot of stress or tension in your body, or have underlying biomechanical issues.
Once a trigger point has formed, the area becomes sensitive and inflamed. If you’ve developed a trigger point in your calf muscle, for example, you may be able to feel a particularly tight or tender spot. That muscle may feel weaker or limit your movements.
Dry needling helps to free the muscle. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling is based on modern scientific studies of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Using this knowledge, our highly trained consultants insert fine, sterile acupuncture needles into the sore muscle which will then twitch and relax while the needles remain in place for the next 5-15 minutes.
Once the needles are removed and the muscle has relaxed, you will often find that your pain reduces and you’re able to move more easily.
A 2017 study that reviewed the evidence from randomised controlled trials of dry needling from 2000-2015 found that dry needling provides short-term pain relief, increases range of motion and improves quality of life.
In most cases, the insertion of the needle is not felt. Once a trigger point has been stimulated, a slight “twitch” or cramping sensation will be felt which may provoke a very slight pain response. It is normal to feel some muscle soreness the following 24 – 48hrs later. We will recommend either a heat or ice pack to be applied depending on the needling site post treatment.
As dry needling is just one of the techniques used in an overall holistic treatment plan, there are many common conditions it may help with:
- Low Back pain
- Neck pain, including chronic pain and whiplash associated disorder
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle strains
- Frozen shoulder or rotator cuff injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Increasing range of motion
- Plantar fasciitis
- Radicular arm pain
- Joint problems
We’re still learning about the different ways that dry needling helps, which may include altering nerve activity, releasing ‘knotted’ muscles and improving blood flow to an area which promotes healing.
If you would benefit from dry needling, it will usually be one part of a broader treatment plan. It can help to improve many conditions but is best used to support and reinforce other physiotherapy techniques like tailored exercises, manual therapies, ultrasound and other treatments.
The team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic are well trained in the correct method of dry needling. We only use sterile, single use needles which are disposed of post treatment. Prior to using dry needling techniques, you will be screened for any contraindications to ensure your safety. If you do not feel comfortable with dry needling, please inform us immediately.
Side effects of dry needling are usually minor. They may include some soreness, bleeding or bruising around the site where the needle was inserted. Some people also report feeling tired afterwards.
Depending on your condition, and the severity of it, the number of treatments will vary from person to person. In some cases, people have noticed an improvement after their first session, while others may take 3 – 4 sessions before they experience a change in their symptoms.
If you would like to find out more about dry needling, or whether its right for you, please feel free to give us a call to answer any of your questions.
From the moment you book in for your consultation till the completion of your spinal treatments, you will realise The Brisbane Spine Clinic difference.
- Peace of mind
- Clear communication
- Dedication and commitment
- Highest level of care
- Problem-solving approach
- Second opinions
- Non-invasive treatment