Medical Acupuncture, often referenced to as Dry Needling, is a technique based on the structure and function of the body. The therapist determines the quantity and length of the needles used. A case history, examination and special tests are used to gain a diagnosis. The dosage of needles is tailored to the individual and will be discussed prior to insertion. A response of the patient can change this plan and further treatment may be required for the total effect.
I am a manual therapist and understand first hand how the power of touch can have the best effect for chronic and acute injuries. Medical Acupuncture fits in with my approach well and I have had great success so far.
Unlike Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, the knowledge of anatomy and physiology is used in a different way to treat musculoskeletal pain and relieve some of the symptoms created by muscular dysfunctions.
MA isn’t directly treating the manifestation of the musculoskeletal condition but treats the soft tissue responses to these dysfunctions, for example, Myofascial Trigger points. A patient who has poor body posture whilst working at a desk may suffer from headaches or feel stiff and tight in the neck or upper back region. Areas of hypertonicity can be found in these muscles and MTrPs can be formed. They can affect anyone at any age and are usually formed due to repetitive stress and trauma on the body. You may be more aware of them as a pain that radiates into your neck from your upper back or from your hip down to your knee. In some cases, they can restrict the range of movement and make your joints feel stiff. Alongside other techniques, MA is used to increase the bodies’ vascular response to target tissue healing and reduce this muscle tone.
MA can be used as a pain relief technique to manage chronic and acute injuries. For example, when you have tendinitis in your elbow region you can suffer from high levels of pain. By inserting needles into point specific palpable locations information can be sent to the nerve supplying this area. This creates the inhibition of the pain signal (nociceptive pathway) at the dorsal horn (this controls sensation). Whilst the needle is being stimulated a short-term extra segmental analgesia is created. This is often when a localised twitch response can be seen and felt. Some describe this as a muscle twitch or fire. A slight shock sensation can be felt but this is momentary.
As with any hands-on therapy, a patient can feel worked on, similar to when you have done a hard workout or training session. Patients can feel tired or relaxed and in some cases, a little overwhelmed with this systemic reaction, a 24-48 hour rest period is recommended. Minor bruising or bleeding can occur during 10-20% of treatments. This is a normal reaction to treatment. A patient may also feel fatigued or heavy-limbed. Equally, patients have reported feelings of lightness, feeling giggly or light-headed. This response usually last 1-2 hours. Usually a quiet day, big glass of water and some food reduces most symptoms.
A medical history is a vital part of any Sports Massage. This allows me, the therapist to give the best advice and treatment. Certain personal and medical questions will be asked. Any red flags will be discussed in detail and appropriate treatment will be selected. Consent has to be given for all treatments so a consent form must be signed, verbal consent will be needed before any manual therapies are used. Get in touch today!