Dry Needling - What's the 'point' and how can it help?

Post by
Ahmad Amiri

Dry needling is an increasingly popular technique used by Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, and some massage therapists where a fine needle is gently inserted into certain areas of the body. This is very similar to Acupuncture, and many people often ask us what the difference is between the two. In short, dry needling is a form of acupuncture, however the differences lie within the theory and philosophy of how they work. Acupuncture is based on traditional eastern medicine where the needles aim to restore the flow of energy in the body, whereas dry needling is based on western medicine, where the needles are used to target trigger points (aka ‘knots’, or tender areas) within the muscle itself.

hand putting dry needling acupuncture needs into skin
Dry Needling can be useful for people with musculoskeletal pain.

The main benefit of dry needling is that it can reach into deeper areas, beneath the skin, where our hands or other instruments can not. This can help relieve pain, decrease muscle spasm, promote blood flow into the area, and stimulate the muscles. This has been shown to be useful for some people with neck pain, headaches (cervicogenic, tension, and migraine), shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain (osteoarthritis), and foot pain (plantar fasciitis). In our clinical experience, not everyone benefits from this therapy, but it can be very useful for some and can be a good option to trial to see if it helps.

man getting dry needling acupuncture in shoulder region
Dry Needling uses fine needles that are gently inserted into the muscles.

At Westpoint Health, we use dry needling together with a broader approach that involves massage, mobilisations, manipulation, and exercises to really maximise the benefits of each treatment and achieve the best possible outcome. If you would like to see if Dry Needling can benefit you, our Chiropractors (Nico Ebilane, Ahmad Amiri, Brian Tran, and Alex Fielding) or Physiotherapists (Brian Tran and Alex Fielding) are all trained in Dry Needling and can help. To make an appointment, call us on 02 8662 0496 or book online today!

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