WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING AND
HOW DOES IT WORK?

Dry needling is a treatment provided by physiotherapists or osteopaths with the appropriate training. For patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations, dry needling can be a safe and effective procedure. Neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments are treated using a thin monofilament needle that penetrates the skin to treat underlying muscular trigger points.
 
Trigger points are tight bands of muscle fibre that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, inflict pain or cause local tenderness. The needles are used to induce a natural twitch response, promoting healing in the affected area. Dry needling reduces banding or tightness, increases blood flow and helps with local and referred pain in dysfunctional muscles and trigger points. Multiple musculoskeletal issues can be mitigated or even cured by this approach.

BENEFITS OF DRY NEEDLING

As long as the trigger point exists, nerves in your body are activated and pain signals are sent to your brain. As a consequence, the nerves become more sensitive, which causes trigger point pain to increase. Trigger point pain can be relieved with dry needling. By relaxing knotted muscles and improving blood flow, patients experience fast pain relief. In addition, a better circulation means that your body's painful, acidic waste products are carried away while your muscles receive oxygen and nutrients to heal.
 
Dry needling also helps you to regain your range of motion. The use of dry needling is usually used as part of a holistic approach such as Osteopathy or Physiotherapy.
 
Apart from alleviating pain and restoring your body movement to its optimum, accelerated healing and recovery is another benefit patients can expect from their dry needling session. Dry needling can trigger a healing response, which improves nerve communication and releases natural pain relievers like endorphins in your body. Ultimately, dry needling works for a range of musculoskeletal conditions, including pain in shoulders, necks, heels, hips, and backs to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function.

WHAT KIND OF PAIN IS DRY NEEDLING MOST EFFECTIVE IN TREATING?

Dry needling is primarily used to treat musculoskeletal pain which is pain caused by tightness or disruption of muscle fibres in or around muscle and fascia. The treatment is effective for many common sources of back, neck, shoulder, hip, and heel pain. Patients who have Achilles tendinopathy or tennis elbow can also benefit from needle therapy to help heal the tendons.

DRY NEEDLING SIDE EFFECTS

Most patients do not experience any side effects following a dry needling session. For those who do, symptoms are often mild and temporary, hence, there is usually no cause for concern.
 
One of the side effects include a temporary increase in local muscle fatigue/or a mild ache, subsiding after 24-48 hours. A gentle stretching or light massage around the area may reduce the pain quicker. Bruising or slight bleeding, like after an injection, may occur as well, however, this is rare and only affects about 10% of patients. Patients are more likely to experience this side effect if they are taking a blood thinner or have blood vessel problems.
 
A histamine reaction to the needles may cause small red spots to appear on the skin, but goes away within a few minutes or hours. For patients feeling weak or tired after a session, a good rest will get energy levels back up again!
 
As mentioned, such side effects are rare, as dry needling in Singapore is safe and causes minimal discomfort, especially when performed by professionally trained physiotherapists and osteopaths.