THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your foot health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or your podiatrist.
1. What Is Dry Needling?
The word needle terrifies most people as it often leads us thinking about a needle injection. But it is not the big, thick needle we are talking about. It is an acupuncture needle - a soft needle thinner than a hair, a fine needle varies from 0.22mm to 0.25mm in diameter.
At Passion Podiatry, we use dry needling to help patient in relieving:
trigger points in muscles
painful when pressed on and may create pain in another area, which is called referred pain
develop due to muscle overuse or injury
feel like tender “knots” or lumps
soft tissue injuries
osteopathic symptoms such as constant burning, numbness and tingling sensation
Dry needling can be one of the most effective treatments for immediate pain relief if conditions are met.
NOTE: Our podiatrists at Passion Podiatry are fully certified and trained in the use of needling for a wide range of lower limb conditions.
2. How Does It Works? What Should I Expect?
The exact mechanism in which dry needling works is complicated. From a patient point of view, we do know that once the needle is inserted into the muscle, there will be a muscle twitch response which encourages the relaxation of the muscle, thereby reducing existing tightness and pain. It stimulates the release of hormones and natural chemicals in the body that relieve muscle tension, causes the relaxation of the muscle and improve the range of movement.
The whole process is neither as painful as it sounds, nor you will be walking out with multiple bleeding spots. In fact, most people reported a sharp sensation (small prick), a quick electric shock or absolutely nothing as the needles are applied onto the skin surface. Nil discomfort or pain should be felt thereafter, aside from a possible muscle twitch and a short “dull” aching, cramping sensation or relaxation of the muscle. Rarely does this draw any blood or result in any serious pain. A local twitch response is a therapeutic response that serves as a sign that the needle has hit the trigger point, so it is in fact a good, desirable reaction. After treatment you may experience some residual soreness that may last for an hour to up to a few days. It may also produce a bruised-like sensation which is not unusual and will usually resolved over a period of time. It is recommended to have a big glass of water following treatment to assist in your recovery. Some people feel better straight away while others feel better a day or two later.
3. Why Do I Need Dry Needling?
We have had some fantastic outcomes with the use of dry needling. It is found to be an effective means of pain relief when dealing with common muscular pain or injury such as:
plantar fasciitis, heel pain
myofascial pain syndrome
neuropathic symptoms (people who experiencing constant numbness, burning and tingling sensation in their feet).
It is also usually used in conjunction with stretches and exercises to assist muscle recovery and build strength. If the underlying problem is left untreated, the symptoms such as pain and limited movement will generally reappear.
4. How Many Sessions Of Dry Needling Do I Need?
It is not uncommon that it may take several dry needling therapy sessions before the muscle is fully functional again. This is because trigger points are located under deep layers of muscles, so it typically takes several sessions for the changes to take full effect and in the event of chronic injuries, it is fair to allow a period of muscle recovery. However, most patients will typically notice the difference right after each treatment.
5. Is Dry Needling For Everyone?
Dry needling will not be used when there is a fear of needles. This is so as people will become apprehensive and subconsciously tighten their muscles, making the needle harder to get in and cause pain.
People with peripheral vascular disease, sensitive skin issues, have current infection or wound in the area and on blood thinner will also need to discuss with podiatrist prior to the treatment.
6. Is There Any Alternatives To Dry Needling?
Should you really not like dry needling, there are other ways that we can help with your condition such as trigger point release using compression technique and fascial release techniques. We will utilise the most effective management technique that you are comfortable with to help you get back on your feet.
7. What Is The Side Effect Of Using Dry Needling Treatment?
No. Dry needling does not have other significant any side effects apart from the few that has been mentioned previously. These include some residual soreness and possible bruised-like sensation that may last for an hour to up to a few days. This treatment can only be performed by licensed professional. Needling without any medical knowledge can cause nerve damage, bleeding or discomfort.
To ensure the safety of patients and staff, Passion Podiatry practice the strictest infection control procedures in day to day treatment activities. All instruments are cleaned, disinfected and sterilized in accordance with the National Infection Control Guidelines Australian Standards AS 4187 – 1994 Code of Practice.