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Osteopathy and Dry Needling

At Bendigo Osteo, our Osteopaths (Matt, Merryn, Jeremy & Maddy) are trained in Dry Needling. It is one of many techniques used in treatments and you can discuss with them whether it is suitable for you.

What is Dry Needling?

Firstly it is not acupuncture. Acupuncturist’s practice under Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts that the body’s energy can be restored through needling ‘energy channels’ called ‘meridians’. Compare this to Dry Needling which is based on an anatomical understanding that needling stimulates muscle tissue repair.  This is what Bendigo Osteo practices.

Dry Needling involves introducing fine, sterile needles into myofacial trigger points (MTP). Over-used muscles develop these points (or ‘knots’), which results in referred pain, tenderness and poor muscle and nerve function. Trigger points are commonly seen in both acute and long term conditions. The aim is to release these trigger points quickly and effectively by eliciting a twitch response . This re-sets the chemical imbalance between the muscles and nerves which instantly decreases the muscle tension and increases blood and nerve supply. Which is great!

Dry Needling is  effective to treat the following conditions:

  • Rotator cuff and shoulder issues
  • Acute ligament strain (ankle, knee, wrist)
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Wrist and RSI problems
  • Chronic muscular tension that won’t ease
  • Sciatic and gluteal pain
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sporting injuries
  • Shin splints
  • Hamstring and lower back problems

Is it painful?

Most people don’t feel the needle pierce the skin, but it may be mildly uncomfortable when the needle enters a tight muscle.  You may experience a twitch or muscle cramp or deep aching pain – this indicates that your muscle is about to relax. The pain is very brief (only a few seconds) and the release in muscle tension is almost instant. You may experience some muscle soreness in the next 24 hours – much like any other treatment and there may be some slight bruising.

Some people do not like the idea of needles – and that’s ok! There are plenty of other techniques our Osteopaths use to treat the above areas of concern. The Osteopaths at Bendigo Osteo will discuss dry needling with you to make sure you are comfortable with it first. If you want to try it out book an appointment.