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What is dry needling? | Forge West End

What is dry needling and what is it good for?

Dry Needling is a skilled intervention performed by a Physiotherapist or Myotherapist that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin, as used in the practice of acupuncture, but it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy (“chi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases. In fact, dry needling is a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or low-back pain.In fact, dry needling aimsat myofascial trigger points (MTrP) which are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band.

What will I feel during and after a dry needling treatment?

While some areas may be more tender than others, dry needling typically does not cause more pain than your current symptoms. The initial feeling of the needle entering through the skin is very minimaland many people do not even notice it. Once the needle reaches the muscle, the twitch sensation feels more like a cramp and doesn’t last long (15-30 seconds). Muscle soreness after a treatment session, may last 12-24 hours. 

You will know positive change has occurred right after the session, as you should have decreased pain and increased mobility and because you will be sore in the way that you would feel after a heavy work out. The muscle will feel fatigued, and the soreness can last from a few hours to 1 or 2 days, but should not interfere with your everyday activities. We encourage you to be active (avoid heavy exercise) during this time to keep the soreness to a minimum. You can continue your normal activities and gym routine. After a day or so, you’ll experience a new and lasting feeling of less pain and tightness. 

Minor bleeding or bruising occurs after dry needling in 15-20% of treatments and is considered normal. 

How Long Does it Take for Dry Needling to Work?

In many cases, improved mobility is immediate and decreased pain is felt within 24 hours. Typically, it may take a few treatment sessions (once a week for 2-3 weeks) for a lasting positive effect.

What should I avoid after the treatment?

 • Avoid exercise or strenuous activity to the muscles that have been dry needled 

• Avoid any new physical activities or sports

At Forge, both our Physiotherapists and Remedial Massage Therapists are trained and use Dry Needling in treatments when required and may offer it during your consultation. If you would like any more information regarding Dry needling please get in touch with us. 

Written By Sabrina Ungaro – Remedial Massage Therapist and Myotherapist

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