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Pinpointing Pain: What is Dry Needling?

woman undergoing dry needling

You may have heard of it, but exactly what is dry needling? Firstly, let’s clear up some common misconceptions.

To many patients, the word ‘needle’ can conjure up thoughts of terrifying, and often painful, injections. But unlike pain relief jabs, which use hollow needles to inject medication, ‘dry needling’ is exactly as it sounds, dry!

woman undergoing dry needling

How is dry needling good for the body?

Our highly trained therapists use a very fine, sterile needle to target specific areas of muscular tightness and discomfort. Research shows that by inserting these fine filaments into the area of concern, a number of muscular responses are triggered, offering relief by:

  • promoting blood flow to the area which, in turn, promotes healing
  • setting off a ‘twitch’ response causing the muscle to relax
  • inhibiting the neural pathway that causes pain in the region
  • encouraging the release of endorphins, which can relieve inflammation

I’ve heard of acupuncture, is that the same thing?

In a word, no! Whilst both acupuncture and dry needling use needles to offer medication-free relief, the concept behind the treatments are very different.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice, that focuses on using the body’s ‘meridians’ to restore balance. Dry needling, on the other hand, takes a western medicine approach, using proven remedial and physiotherapy principles to offer pain relief and healing.

What does dry needling involve, and is it safe?

At Acacia Well-Being, the safety and comfort of our patients is our number one priority. Our highly trained therapists are experts in tailoring comprehensive treatment plans, unique to each patient’s individual needs. We use the highest hygiene standards to gently insert sterile needles into the area of concern.

The number of needles used, and the length of a treatment, is determined by individual needs. However, in a typical treatment, needles will be inserted for 10-15 minutes.

Does it hurt?

Every treatment differs, depending on many factors including the size of the muscular area, and the degree of inflammation. However, most patients only experience mild discomfort as needles are inserted and withdrawn.

Dry needling is performed only after a detailed consultation, ensuring every concern is addressed. During treatment, patients can expect to experience some immediate relief as the needle is manipulated. Your therapist will continue to communicate during the session, to ensure your comfort.

After treatment some local, superficial tenderness in the area is normal.

Who can benefit and what does dry needling do?

Anyone suffering muscular pain and discomfort can benefit from dry needling.

The causes of muscular pain and tightness, often referred to as ‘knots’, are endless. Some common factors include injury, changes in lifestyle both diet and activity, stress, postural problems, just to name a few.

Acacia Well-Being therapists are committed to using a multi- faceted approach to tailor unique treatment plans for each patient. Dry needling can be used to complement other therapies, including remedial massage, and exercise plans, or as a standalone treatment for those who are less tolerant to hands-on treatments.

Will it help me?

Anyone who has experienced acute tightness and soreness knows that muscles can be stubborn! Remedial massage, and a tailored exercise plan is a great way to ease and relieve discomfort but often, thanks to muscle memory, this relief can be short lived.

By combining dry needling with our other complementary treatments, the team at Acacia Well-Being are committed to finding the best solution to relieve pain and offer every patient a better quality of life. What a relief!