Dry needling is an evidence based medical procedure which involves insertion of very thin needles into myofascial trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are sensitive regions of tissue which comprise taut bands of muscle fiber which are often painful. By inserting tiny diameter needles into these trigger points it is possible to release muscle tension and increase injury healing. Hence, it is used for both treatment and symptomatic relief of many conditions and aches.
There are multiple conditions which can benefit immensely from this therapy. Frequently the underlying reason for aches, pains and chronic conditions are musculoskeletal anomalies or injuries. Upon assessment by one of our highly experienced and well trained podiatrists, it will be decided whether these musculoskeletal issues can be treated effectively with dry needling.
Some of the conditions for which it may be recommended include;
– Plantar fasciitis
– Heel pain
– Ankle pain
– Leg pain
– Shin splints
– Ankle sprains and instability
– Acute and chronic pain or muscle injury
Very small, 0.25mm diameter, needles are inserted into painful muscle bellies in order to increase blood flow and promote healing in the area. They are inserted into tight muscles which are the cause of downstream issues and conditions. For example, in the treatment of plantar fasciitis and the accompanying heel pain.
In order to receive the most benefit from the treatment, it is often recommended that patients receive multiple sessions of dry needling. This increases injury healing and decreases the risk of recurrence. Commonly patients receive between one to ten sessions depending on how the injury is responding to the treatment and the specific needs of the patient being treated. It is important to us that each of our patients are able to receive the best care and thus each treatment plan is designed to fit with individual requirements.
For maximum benefit it may be recommended to be used in conjunction with other therapeutic adjuncts such as orthoses and supportive or corrective footwear as recommended our trained podiatrists.
What does it feel like?
It is most frequently described as initially uncomfortable but overall relaxing as the tension within the muscle belly is alleviated. It is not known for being a painful procedure as the needles used are very small and the overall result of the needles can be an immediate alleviation of previous, acute or chronic, pain. Thus, often the benefits by far outweigh any potential risk.
Is it the same as acupuncture?
Although the needles for both procedures are similar there are many differences in the aims and techniques between the two. Dry needling is comprehensively scientifically backed by research and evidence which supports its efficacy. One of the biggest differences from acupuncture is the technique of inserting 0.25mm needles into myofascial trigger points identified by qualified podiatrists. Our podiatrists at TFC podiatry have undergone further advanced training making them qualified and equipped to perform dry needling.