Medical Acupuncture involves placing acupuncture needles (otherwise called solid filiform needles) into muscles and joints to affect the musculoskeletal system. It is also called Myofascial Acupuncture.
Although the needles used are the same used in acupuncture, dry needling works on different principles to the traditional eastern models. Dry Needling is based on anatomy and physiology rather than Chinese meridians.
Dry Needling inhibits pain perception in the body through a number of mechanisms controlled by the nervous system. Treatment with dry needles also releases muscular tension and reduces knots in muscles, also known as muscular trigger points.
The exact theory about how dry needling reduces pain is still unclear. However evidence suggests that applying acupuncture needles into problematic areas elicits neurological and chemical changes in the body that modify our perception and response to pain. In clinical trails, this has proved valuable for patients with a long history of musculoskeletal pain.
Dry Needling works well in conjunction with osteopathic treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Mostly commonly dry needles are used to treat:
Most people can have Dry Needling treatment, including pregnant patients. However, there are a few conditions and medications which mean the use of Dry Needling is not appropriate. These include blood clotting conditions and blood thinning medication. A full medical history will be taken by your practitioner before the use of any needles.
When the acupuncture needle is placed in the skin most people are completely unaware, they do not feel any pain or discomfort. Sometimes however if a needle is placed on a muscular trigger point this may reproduce some symptoms of discomfort and the feeling of warmth. The needle is often only placed in the skin for a few moments and maybe gently moved to re-stimulate the nerves in some cases. This again may cause some mild discomfort only. After dry needling treatment you may feel a little sore temporally due to changes in blood flow and nerve stimulation. Also, many patients report feeling tired and sleep the night of the treatment.
Response to dry needling treatment is different for everyone. Some people may respond quickly after one or two sessions whereas others can take longer. Dry needling works well in conjunction with all osteopathic treatment.
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