What is dry needling?
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 tight bands of muscle fibre 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.
One of the benefits of the treatment is that a session of dry needling will often complement your home exercise program prescribed by your Podiatrist. For example when your prescribed stretches for a certain pain or condition you will often get more out of a stretching session after dry needling. At TFC Podiatry, we very rarely use dry needling as a standalone therapy and it will usually be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. If you feel like dry needling will help with your foot or ankle pain, we would recommend you book in for an initial appointment. During this appointment we will help you formulate a diagnosis and management plan and help you see if and where dry needling will help with your treatment.
One of the benefits of the treatment is that a session of dry needling will often complement your home exercise program prescribed by your Podiatrist.
When is dry needling treatment recommended?
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 specifically trained podiatrists, it will be decided whether these musculoskeletal issues can be treated effectively with dry needling.
Some of these 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
- Peroneal tendinopathy
- Calf tightness or cramping
- Forefoot pain (neuroma, bursitis)
Swift treatment is a breakthrough treatment for stubborn warts, with success rates of over 80%
How does dry needling work?
Very small, 0.25mm diameter, needles are inserted into the muscle belly in order to decrease pain and increase range of movement. The needles are inserted into tight muscles which are identified as the cause of associated issues and conditions. For example, in the treatment of plantar fasciitis and heel pain, the calf is often one of the main causes for this condition, dry needling is often done on the calf muscle to relieve the tension and pain on the plantar fascia.
In order to receive the most benefit from the treatment, we often recommend that patients receive multiple sessions of dry needling therapy. This increases injury healing and decreases the risk of recurrence. During these appointments, your injury will also be monitored and you will be guided on returning to exercise or sports and guided through your rehabilitation plan. 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 by our trained podiatrists.
We very rarely use dry needling as a standalone therapy and it will usually be part of a comprehensive treatment plan
Dry Needling FAQs
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.