Dry Needling is an innovative form of physical therapy as part of a total treatment aimed at improving (often chronic) muscle issues. This therapy uses thin acupuncture needles, which can effectively and quickly relax hardening muscles.
What is dry needling?
Dry Needling focuses on the treatment of usually longer existing muscle complaints. Dry Needling belongs to the domain of the physical therapist. Dry Needling relaxes muscle hardenings (“myofascial trigger points”) by puncturing them with a thin acupuncture needle. If necessary, the skin and bone membrane are also treated with specific Dry Needling techniques to achieve more effect. Usually the improvement can be felt immediately.
Is dry Needling the same as acupuncture?
With traditional acupuncture, multiple needles are often pricked into the body, which remain there for some time. Dry Needling usually uses one needle to treat muscles for a short time. With classical acupuncture, an energetic concept is used. The points on the meridians are selected based on, among other things, tongue and pulse diagnostics to be able to influence the energy flow. At Dry Needling we usually focus on muscle hardening and the explanation of its effect is not based on “regulating energy” but on the basis of physiology and biochemical processes. On basis of the explanatory model Dry Needling is part of the domain of the physical therapist.
What is a muscle hardening and how does it feel?
A muscle hardening is a hard-to-feel place (“knot”) in a muscle that, in addition to a local pressure pain, can often cause pain in other places in the body.
- Complaints can be expressed by:
- Pain on the spot in a muscle with or without radiation
- Limited motion and / or stiffness
- Reduced strength when the muscle is tightened
- Pain complaints and pain-avoiding behavior
- Sometimes reactions such as sweating, dizziness, light in the head , blurred vision, shivering or cold hands.
How do these muscle hardenings arise?
- Due to a wrong movement or an accident
- Due to a long-term incorrect posture or overload
- Long-term overload with the common problem of neck-arm complaints (RSI, CANS)
- Too much training leading to an overload (athletes)
- Damage to tissue such as a meniscus injury or a hernia
- Long-term absence of movement, eg by plaster cast
- Psychological factors such as stress, depression, restlessness and fatigue
- Foot abnormalities or differences in leg length (eg caused after a fracture)
- Chronic infections and allergies
- Sleep deprivation
What is the focus of the treatment?
The treatment focuses particularly on those complaints in which muscles (often already long-term) are tense and cause pain. Examples are headache, low back pain, tennis or golf elbow, etc. The targeted hardening with a needle releases the muscle hardening. The aim is to generate a so-called “local twitch response” after which this muscle relaxes more. If the symptoms last longer, then usually more muscles are involved. Often the symptoms spread also along the spine. We involve these muscles in the treatment too. Then the advice is to stretch these muscles and ultimately make the muscles sufficiently resilient again by means of exercise / training therapy.
What does a physical therapist do first?
The specialized physiotherapist will first of all try to analyze your complaints through a conversation and examination. The research examines those muscles that could cause or maintain this pain. Muscle hardening is sought in those muscles, which are often painful and feel like a local thickening in a muscle cord. But other areas in the body can maintain these symptoms and the physical therapist also pays attention to this in his research. It is very important that, among other things, the muscle chains are looked at and not just one muscle.
What do you feel during the treatment?
You hardly feel the insertion of the needle. If the muscle hardening is punctured, the muscle may contract briefly. That goes so fast that it usually feels like a little shock, sometimes it can feel a bit painful. If you thereby feel your known pain, then it is very likely that it will have a positive effect. The muscle becomes smoother, the mobility is increased and the pain can be less immediately. Sometimes you feel that you are getting warm and that you are even sweating a little. Occasionally you may feel a bit unpleasant. Not to worry about that, it will disappear quickly. In the first treatment we will limit ourselves to puncturing multiple muscles to test your reaction.
source: myopain: http://www.myopain.nl/