Dry needling is an increasingly popular treatment being utilized by physiotherapists. At RP we like to use dry needling if other conservative treatments have failed. We have been specializing in this technique for more than 10 years.
What injuries is it used for?
We find dry needling particularly useful on stubborn muscular pains that have not responded to massage or trigger point therapy. Regions around the neck and shoulders usually respond quite well as do the muscles in the legs like the hamstrings, groin, quads and calf.
How does it work?
Dry needling works at the both the site of pain and on the brain’s pain centre. The needle is passed into the muscle through the ‘knotted’ tight region eliciting a reflex which relaxes the muscle. The brain also releases endorphins during the technique which leads to pain relief.
What does it feel like?
The needles are very fine, only slightly thicker than a human hair. Little pain is felt when the needle penetrates the muscle. However, typically the physio will move the needle back and forward through the muscle to treat different regions and this will cause moderate discomfort. Frequently you will feel the muscle twitch. Usually there will be some treatment soreness for 1-2 days following the treatment, similar to that of a deep tissue massage. Once this resolves the patient will report some improvement in symptoms.