Dry needling is a fantastic adjunctive treatment for lower leg injuries, pain and tightness.
Trigger point dry needling also known as dry needling is used to target trigger points (myofascial trigger points), commonly found in tight, sore and weak muscles that have formed knots. These specific points of tight knots can reduce the length of the muscle, which in turn reduces the functionality and movement of soft tissue around the body. You may experience these tight knots as muscular tension or muscular aches. If high loads are placed on these tight muscles, it can lead to musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling allows us to quickly and effectively release the muscle tightness and painful knots in your muscles. This allows muscles to effectively lengthen and contract through their full range of motion, rather than a reduced range. The improvement to the range of motion can be seen immediately after the treatment. Muscle relaxation is a delayed effect of dry needling.
The therapists will be gloved to ensure our clients' safety is paramount. Much like a massage, the therapists will use their hands to palpate the skin to identify these knots, they then apply an alcohol wipe to sterile the site of entry to prevent infection. Dry needling involves the insertion of a sterile fine acupuncture needle for a short time (usually five to ten seconds) to stimulate nerve fibres within the muscle that sends signals to and from the brain. The muscle receives a signal back by way of a soft tissue twitch response or spasms "work out the knot". As a general rule, the greater the twitch response the better the outcome. Like anything invasive, an inflammatory response soon follows which initiates the healing processes and relief of muscle tension is experienced
It is normal to experience a mild tingling or sharp sensation at the site of entry or referred sensation at another nearby location. The therapist will listen to you and base the treatment around your tolerance level. Temporary soreness may last for up to 24 hours but will be followed by muscular relaxation and pain relief.
There have been a lot of evidence-based dry needling studies undertaken that have proven the effectiveness of dry needling.
This is a commonly asked question. Although they may physically look similar, there are a number of key differences that separate dry needling and acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine, which uses points around the body to restore chi and balance, helping to relieve pain or discomfort. Medical doctors that specialize in traditional medicine usually do acupuncture.
Dry needling is based on Western medicine and is supported by evidence-based research to isolate and treat palpable a trigger point. We use the same fine needles as acupuncture, however dry needling involves targeting these muscular trigger points to release tension. This helps to restore the muscle to its healthy functionality.
Dry needling can help with many different kinds of pain, including foot pain, knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain.
Remedial massage is a massage technique used to treat musculoskeletal issues by applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target soft tissue structures of the musculoskeletal system. Both options aim to achieve the same outcome but dry needling is quicker, only lasting five to ten seconds. If you are after a quicker solution with immediate benefit then dry needling may appeal.
Common conditions we'll often use dry needling to help with include:
Dry Needling can be used by itself or as an adjunct therapy to treat any musculoskeletal condition. This means it can be highly effective in healing your pain in conjunction with other primary treatments such as custom orthotics, foot mobilisation therapy, strengthening and stretching exercises and Shockwave Therapy.
We recommend discussing your medical history with one of our Brisbane based podiatrists before commencing treatment, as there are a number of conditions and lifestyle factors that may make you not suitable to receive dry needling.
These conditions include:
Patients can usually notice benefits directly after their first treatment. Over the next 24-48, peak improvement, increased mobility and pain relief should be noticed.
It can take multiple sessions to be able to effectively treat the trigger point. Usually, you will notice a difference right after a treatment. Our practitioners are trained to test objectively prior to treatment and then re-test the following treatment to ensure the needling is providing benefit to you. How many treatmentsmeants are required is based on your goals and condition(s). You may need frequent sessions initially until we have achieved clinical outcome measures and also achieved goals that are specific to your needs. Much like deep tissue or remedial massage, dry needling can be used for maintenance for muscle tightness or muscular pain to optimize your performance when things are going well and prevent injuries.
The needles are very fine and it is common that you will only feel mild discomfort. However, it is common that you may feel twitches along the muscle — this is a good thing and completely normal as it means that the needles are releasing that small knot.
It is rare to experience any major side effects from dry needling, however you may experience some mild side effects post treatment including:
While the idea of getting needles into a painful area may sound terrifying, the needles themselves are extremely fine filament needles so there's not a lot of pain involved from the needle directly. Most people say that they don't feel any pain, or describe the feeling as vaguely uncomfortable.
However, on occasion, a patient may feel pain. This pain isn't actually related to the dry needling itself, but instead, it's muscle pain. The muscle may jerk as a reaction to the dry needling. If you do experience this pain it is very quick and the therapist will move to another area.
To get the most out of your dry needling treatment, be sure to follow the below aftercare steps:
Dry needling can be dangerous when administered by someone who isn't a registered health professional or whom may not have had the necessary qualifications. Registered health professionals such as Podiatrists, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Myotherapists, and Chiropractors may have completed the necessary training to perform dry needling.
For neck pain and shoulder pain consider Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Myotherapists, and Chiropractors who have completed the necessary training.
If professionals don't use correct dry needling techniques, sterile needles and gloves it can cause further complications. For this reason, it's important to have dry needling done with a registered professional.
If dry needling is done by a professional, it is a minimally invasive therapy that is fairly safe. However, the risk is inherent in almost any medical treatment so there is a very small chance of complications. These complications can include prolonged pain, extensive bruising, nausea, fainting, fatigue and headaches.
In very extreme cases infection or a puncture of an organ could happen, but this should absolutely not occur if the treatment is done by a skilled professional with an effective technique.
It's not recommended to do dry needing during pregnancy. There is currently no evidence-based dry needling studies that prove dry needling is safe in the first trimester, but some research proves it's safe in the second trimester. However, the research is new, so it's better to stay on the safe side and not dry needling into a pregnancy.
If you'd like to visit our clinic for a dry needling session with a trained professional or find out more information, you can make an appointment by phone or through email.
We have two different clinics, that can perform dry needling in Brisbane. One is located in Brisbane CBD, and the other in Newmarket, Brisbane. Both of these clinics have registered professionals with a special interest in dry needling.
The price of dry needling will depend on the expertise of the podiatrist you go to and the number of treatments you have. However, you can find out about our standard prices here. Or contact us here for a specific quote.
There are a number of funding options available for the treatment, including; private health, NDIS, Work Cover, Medicare & DVA. Please get in touch with one of our team to discuss the different options in detail.