Posted on July 11, 2011
Hi there, I have had a few patients ask me about what Podiatrists can do for patients with regards to dry needling.
So I've put together a bit of an article explaining what dry needling is, what the potential benefits of dry needling are and when a Podiatrist will use dry needling in their clinic.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is an increasingly popular treatment method being used by a variety of practitioners including Podiatrists, Physiotherapists, Myotherapists and Osteopaths.
Dry Needling is the use of fine solid (filament) needles to reduce pain through the stimulation of myofascial trigger points.
Trigger points are "hyper irritable" points within a muscle created by a thickened band or "knot" of muscle.
These trigger points can be very painful when palpated and can refer pain to other regions of the body.
Trigger points can also lead to a muscle "switching off" or reducing the strength of its contaction.
Dry needling is similar to acupuncture, however follows different theories and rationale to the traditional Chinese medicine.
What are the benefits of Dry Needling?
Dry needling at trigger points has been show to result in a reaction from the central nervous system, allowing the muscle to relax and producing analgesia.
This analgesia then allows us to appropriately assess and manage muscle conditions with reduced pain and hypertonicity.
Filament needles are incredibly fine and for this reason there is minimal to no pain felt when inserting the needles.
There is often a "local twitch response" noted when needles are inserted into trigger point with a rapid contraction of the muscle and sometimes a brief "cramping" type sensation is felt.
Dry Needling and Podiatry
Dry needling is seen as and adjunct to other treatments and will not alone eliminate the problem or injury.
By reducing trigger points we are able to perform movements more efficiently and with reduced pain.
In order to be able to perform dry needling, I have undertaken additional study in Dry Needling and have the required qualification to implement in my Podiatry clinic.
And yes, you need to take your shoes off for dry needling!