Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling and How Can it Help?

Dry needling (also referred to as IMS or intramuscular stimulation) is a method used by trained therapists to provide relief for people experiencing musculoskeletal pain. Using a very thin needle, your physiotherapist will penetrate the skin and influence the tense, hypersensitive trigger points in your muscles.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a trigger point is a “local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness.” By dry needling these trigger points, a therapist increases blood flow to the area, reduces tightness, and alleviates pain.

Treatable conditions
Dry needling can support a range of issues you may be experiencing, including:

    • Shoulder, knee, hip/gluteal, and back pain
    • Tennis & golfer’s elbow
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Headaches

Results
Patients often experience relief after their first treatment, but you will likely need to attend a few treatments before substantial, long-lasting results appear. Of course, every patient’s health situation is different, meaning there will be some variance in the number of treatments you may need. At Acceleration Physiotherapy, dry needling is typically used in conjunction with a comprehensive rehab plan.

Dry needling vs acupuncture
Apart from the use of needles, there are few similarities between acupuncture and dry needling. Acupuncture is a practice rooted in traditional Eastern Medicine philosophy which focuses on the body’s energy, or Qi. Dry needling, on the other hand, is based on Western Medicine’s research and philosophy, targeting the release of trigger points in the muscles to relieve pain and reduce mobility issues.

Dry needling the low back

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Dry Needling FAQs

Are there side effects?

On occasion, patients may experience the following minor side effects during or after a treatment: bruising, bleeding, tenderness, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, or sweating.

Studies show that significant adverse reactions to dry needling are extremely rare, with serious side effects occurring in less than 0.1% of treatments. Your therapist will discuss risks and side effects with you prior to treatment, and will only proceed with your consent.

Can anyone be a candidate for dry needling?

Your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment before determining if dry needling is appropriate for you. However, those who are pregnant or have an overwhelming fear of needles will not be candidates for this treatment.

If you have any other questions or would like to book a physiotherapy appointment at Acceleration Physiotherapy, please get in touch!

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