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.
Dry needling can support a range of issues you may be experiencing, including:
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.
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.
Brittney and her team at Acceleration Physiotherapy are professional, courteous and well trained in all aspects of personal physical therapy. My time with Britney was excellent – always cheerful, ready to help, an excellent listener, but most important to me was that she was able to explain what we were doing to fix me, why we were doing it and show how in a simple way to achieve the results I needed. I will definitely come back to Brittney if I need to and would recommend anyone to contact her and Acceleration Therapy to assist them in their recovery.
I guess what I really appreciate about Brittney is that she made me better. I’ve been out x-country skiing 3 times over the past 3 or 4 weeks and enjoy it so much because I am simply pain free. No more wobbling and hobbling and I can fully enjoy this wonderful winter sport. Further, I appreciate Brittney’s professionalism, knowledge and skill as a physiotherapist and I feel valued and treated as an important client. I will gladly recommend Brittney to any of my family or friends if they are looking for a physiotherapist. No hesitation whatsoever.
I cannot recommend James highly enough. His thorough evaluations and precise, tailored treatments made an immediate and lasting impact to my carpal tunnel related issues. To say IMS has been a miracle would not be a far stretch. With his direct and down-to-earth approach, I am educated on my condition and know I am getting the best physiotherapy treatment possible with each visit. Simply put, there is no one better!
James is the best - from my early days playing hockey to now in my mid-40’s I have had many Physiotherapists work with me for various injuries and none have been as comprehensive, knowledgeable and engaged as James. He is really about getting his patients back to real life as soon as possible, having fun, and no unnecessary clinical fluff. I trust him completely for myself, my wife and young daughters who are athletes themselves. We wouldn’t think to go anywhere else.
I highly recommend James Squire as a physiotherapist. He offered me exceptional care by using multiple modalities in my treatments to improve my mobility and strength, relieve my pain, and restore my physical function.
I recently started to see James Squire about a shoulder injury. My shoulder worked, but certain movements caused a great amount of pain. The biggest issue was my sleeping. I would wake up 5-6 times a night in excruciating pain. After 4 weeks with James, there was a huge difference. Within 8-9 weeks, workouts felt great and I could sleep through the night pain-free. It was a long process, but one I was confident that James could help me with. He was polite, professional, knowledgable, and made it easy for me to comprehend my injury. He made sure I had the knowledge and understanding to continue on my own. I would highly recommend James to anyone with an injury!
I came to James after suffering a significant shoulder injury playing football. He was able to accurately identify the cause and severity and prepare a successful treatment plan that allowed me to return to my sport without any symptoms. He is able to combine his medical knowledge with his own sports experience to provide the best service possible for an athlete.