1. What is the difference between dry needling and traditional acupuncture?
“The use of dry needling is based on an understanding of human anatomy and physiology regarding myofascial pain and trigger points”. It refers to the use of either solid filiform needles or hollow-core hypodermic needles for the treatment of muscle pain.”
“Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance”
2. Is there any medicine in the needles that are used?
No, “dry needling”, meaning needles without any medication or injection, that is inserted through the skin, into areas of the muscle.
3. Why is dry needling used?
“Physical therapists use dry needling with the goal of releasing or inactivating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Preliminary research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient's return to active rehabilitation”
4. Will it be painful?
“Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and this is a desirable reaction.”
5. What to expect after a dry needling session?
”Most patients report being sore after the procedure. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.”
Article: Ilse van Vuuren