Dry Needling is a very successful medical treatment which uses very thin needles without any medication (a dry needle) to achieve its aim. Dry Needling is used to treat pain and dysfunction caused by muscular problems, sinus trouble and headaches. It is not at all the same as acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, whereas Dry Needling is a western medical technique.
How does Dry Needling work?
Dry Needling works by changing the way your body senses pain (neurological effects), and by helping the body to heal stubborn muscle spasms associated with trigger points (myofascial effects). There are additional electrical and chemical changes associated with the Dry Needling Therapy which assist in the healing process. It is important to see the needles as just one part of your overall rehabilitative treatment. Dry Needling is not a miracle cure – it is a normal part of Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Chiropractic treatment. It is vital that you do the exercises and follow the advice your therapist gives you in conjunction with the needling for optimal recovery.
What to expect
Your therapist has been specifically trained in the various needling techniques. The therapist will choose a length and thickness of needle appropriate for your condition and your body size, and then insert it through the skin at the appropriate place. You will feel a small pin prick. Depending on the type of needle technique chosen by your therapist, you may also feel a muscle ache and a muscle twitch. These are all normal and good sensations and mean that you will experience relief from your symptoms.
Is there any risk associated with Dry Needling?
In general there is a very little risk associated with this technique if performed properly by a trained osteopath. You may have a little bruising around the needle site, much the same as you would with any injection. On rare occasions, people may feel very happy, tearful, sweaty or cold. These symptoms all fade quickly. Fainting may occur in a very small minority of people. There are no lasting ill effects of these side effects.
If you are being treated in the shoulder, neck or chest area, there is an additional risk that involves your lung. If the lung itself is punctured, you may develop a condition called pneumothorax (air in the space around the lung). This is a rare but serious problem and you should go directly to a hospital casualty department without panicking if it occurs. The symptoms of this event include shortness of breath which gets worse, sudden sharp pain each time you breath in, a bluish tinge to your lips, and an inability to ‘’catch your breath’’. The hospital treatment for this is very successful for this rare but possible complication.
My neck felt altogether more comfortable and I am now playing golf without any pain at all.
I have always loved and played sport. Alas due to the passing of time I now only play golf so the exercise I take on the golf course is very precious to me. I have suffered from time to time with neck and back problems and recently my back was causing quite sharp pain and was threatening to ruin my games of golf. When I visited Chantal she soon told me from where the pain was coming and I started the first of four treatments. After the four treatment sessions my neck felt altogether more comfortable and I am now playing golf without any pain at all. Chantal adopts a totally honest approach to her work. She advised me that at least four sessions of treatment would be needed and that after the sessions my neck area could be a little sore. Four sessions did the trick and I am now enjoying my golf again. I have no hesitation in recommending Chantal to sports enthusiasts or to anyone with neck problems.Michael de St Croix