Will dry needling work for me?
You may have been to a Podiatrist or physio and had some Dry Needling for a painful muscle or as part of the treatment of an injury.
At Complete Podiatry, we use dry needling every day to help clients manage pain and improve their ability to live amazing, pain-free lives.
What is Dry Needling?
Trigger Point Dry Needling is a medical treatment especially useful in the management of many musculoskeletal problems.
A Trigger Point (TP) is a small, often painful contraction of muscle fibres that can develop due to abnormal muscle function, compensatory movements for pain and other problems (myofascial pain syndrome).
TPs prevent normal muscle function by causing stiffness in the muscle and subsequent muscle and skeletal compensations as well as localised and referred pain.
Effective TP treatment involves:
- Relax the painful muscle contraction (TP)
- Reducing abnormal stresses on the muscles,
- Restoring normal muscle function and
- Preventing further abnormal muscle compensations.
Why Is it Called 'Dry' Needling?
Many years ago, when clinicians were trying to discover the best way to help people with painful trigger points, they tried using small injections into the trigger point using a variety of solutions to control pain.
Sterile saline and local anaesthesia were two of the most popular original choices during this time of experimentation.
As research progressed, a study was performed to try to discover what was the best fluid to inject into the trigger point.
During this study, it was noted that people got the same results with any fluid and they concluded it was the introduction of the needle that seemed to be making the difference rather than the fluid.
And so the term 'dry' needling was born.
With continued research, it was discovered that smaller filament needles rather than the large-diameter injection needles were just as good at helping pain and so today, we use very small acupuncture needles to treat trigger points.
What Will Happen During My Dry Needling?
To treat TPs, a very fine needle will be gently inserted into the muscle ‘knot”.
The first sensation you will feel is pressure from the plastic guide tube followed by a very small sting as the needle is tapped into the superficial skin layers.
Secondly, as the needle is gently pushed into the muscle knot, you will feel a deeper, spreading sensation.
This is commonly followed by a strong muscle “twitch”.
This is a good response that indicates the muscle has relaxed.
Depending on the response from the muscle being treated, the needle may then be immediately removed or it may be left to remain in the muscle for a short period of time.
Sometimes a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (T.E.N.S.) may be used in your treatment to electrically stimulate a weakened muscle.
Dry Needling is safe to be used in most people however, clients with Diabetes and circulation problems as well as those on anticoagulant medication and those undertaking cancer treatment need to be cautious of any treatments that break the skin.
Your Podiatrist will discuss if TP Dry Needling is appropriate for you.
We Are Here To Help
If you are experiencing pain in the muscles of your feet or legs, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of the Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry for a comprehensive assessment to identify what is causing your pain.
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for how to stop your pain and help you to return safely and pain-free to all the activities you enjoy.
I'm so confident we can help with your foot, ankle or leg pain that I'd love to chat with you personally, it's what I'm passionate about!
Yours in helping build amazing life from the feet up.
Director of Complete Podiatry