A common comparison is often made between Dry Needling and Acupuncture. Both of these treatments primarily use needles and visually, both share similarities. However, these two practices are vastly different in theory.
Acupuncture originates from the Chinese as part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and aims to target meridian points with needles to manipulate the “qi” life-energy flow. Dry Needling on the other hand is a form of Western medication promoted by scientific findings. So what is Dry Needling, why is it useful and when should you opt for it? Here’s our explanation:
Introduction to Dry Needling
Dry Needling is the insertion of a sterile needle into the fascia layer (connective tissue) of your muscle. It is used to release Myofascial Trigger Points or what is commonly known as knots.
Knots are pesky bumps along your muscles that are often sore to touch, inhibits movement and reduces your range of motion. These Myofascial Trigger Points are caused when the fascia surrounding the muscle contracts and remains in that tensed state. Unable to relax, the tensed muscles block out the blood flow which causes more complications to occur.
Without a healthy circulation of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients are not carried to the site adequately and toxins typically removed by blood accumulates with constricted blood flow.
What Causes Knots?
There have been many theories and research in speculation of the cause of such a common problem. Some of the theorised causes include injuries, jolts, over-exertion, or the likes that trigger the muscle into sudden contraction. Other possible causes are stress, illness or overactive nerves causing the muscles to contract.
As micronutrients are needed for your muscles to contract and release, people with a nutritional deficiency can encounter problems with their muscles such as cramps. Considering the direct impact nutrients have on muscle contraction, a lack of nutrients is also considered one of the causes for Myofascial Trigger Points.
How Does Dry Needling Help?
What Dry Needling does is to introduce fresh blood in to the Myofascial Trigger Points by applying the needles into the knotted area. By inserting the needle and drawing blood to the Trigger Point, oxygen and the needed micronutrients for the muscle to relax are able to enter the site. Toxins and wastes are able to exit the site as well to promote healing.
Not Today Knots!
Together with other treatments such as Clinical Massage, or Exercise Therapy, healthcare professionals would prescribe Dry Needling accordingly to best fit the individual. If you are a victim to Myofascial Trigger Points and would like to find relieve from it, do check in with our physiotherapists who can assess and take you through the right measures against your knots!
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