About Redfern Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine’s Dry Needling:

Dry Needling is used for the treatment of muscle pain and dysfunction. This approach is based on Western anatomical and neuro-physiologic principles and shouldn’t be confused with Chinese Acupuncture. Dry needling involves the use of fine, sterile acupuncture needles into “trigger points” of muscles, a sensitive point within a muscle, stimulation or irritation of which causes a specific effect in another part, especially a tender area in a muscle which causes generalised musculoskeletal pain when overstimulated.

What to expect from dry needling treatment at Redfern Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine?

Our physiotherapists will determine if dry needling is a safe and effective treatment option for you based on a comprehensive physical examination. A sensitive and shortened muscle will typically elicit a dull ache, or a muscle cramp as the needle is inserted. This is a distinctive type of discomfort caused by the muscle grasping the needle. Patients quickly become familiar with this sensation and view it as a positive pain because it soon disappears and is followed by a feeling of relief and relaxation. The needle may still be in place, but because the muscle is no longer tight or in spasm, you no longer feel it. What has happened is that the needling has caused your abnormal muscle shortening to increase and then release. It is essential you experience this releasing sensation to achieve lasting relief. Current research tells us that dry needling may be the quickest way to reduce muscular pain and recover muscular function.

Dry needling can also be applied to areas away from the actual location of pain. Our physiotherapist’s comprehensive physical examination combined with skilled touch (palpation) can identify painless (yet limited) movement areas which will respond positively to dry needling treatment. Research has also shown needling areas or sources of pain away from the pain location to be associated with superior clinical outcomes.

How many treatments will I need?

Treatments are usually performed once or twice a week but can be spread out to two weeks, to allow time between treatments for the body to heal itself. The number of treatments you require will vary depending on the duration and extent of your condition and how quickly your body can heal. The rate of healing depends on the condition of your muscles and the amount of irritation caused by trigger points. Some chronic problems will most likely require more treatments. The effects of dry needling are cumulative, as it stimulates a certain amount of healing, until eventually, the condition is healed and the pain settles. Like most therapies, needling works best when used in conjunction with other physiotherapy techniques as well as a specific exercise program.