Dry Needling & Acupuncture
Where Western science meets Eastern tradition….
Dry Needling is an effective way to eliminate trigger points in taut muscle bands found in many acute and chronic injuries or pain syndromes. It is also used to stimulate healing in chronic tendon problems such as Achilles tendonitis and tennis elbow.
In the case of trigger point treatment, needles are inserted directly into the muscle trigger points. These are overactive areas of muscle and fascia, a tough connective tissue that wraps around most of the structure of the human body.
Typically the needle is inserted into the taut band within the muscle until a “twitch response” is achieved. Often a number of twitches are achieved within a session. There is then a reflex relaxation and lengthening of the muscle and trigger point.
For tendon problems, the needle is inserted directly into the injured tendon. This stimulates an inflammatory response around the tendon in the hope of promoting healing in chronic tendon injury. We typically use dry needling for tendon injuries that have been present for more than 6 weeks.
At West London Physiotherapy, we use strong but thin acupuncture needles. These have the advantage of less local muscle trauma and less discomfort during the procedure.
If you’d like to know whether dry needling could help you, why not Get in Touch →
How many sessions will I need for trigger point treatment?
Usually after the first treatment session, relief lasts 3-4 days. Following each subsequent session the duration of pain relief is longer. Up to three or four sessions can be required to eliminate the trigger point, but a single trigger point should be needled no more than twice per week.
How many sessions will I need for tendon treatment?
Results are usually seen after two weekly sessions. On average we would expect to treat you with dry needling of the tendon three or four times.
How is it different to acupuncture?
Dry needling differs from Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. Where Acupuncture focuses on targeting “meridians”, Dry Needling is anatomically based, and used to penetrate the injured tissue directly. While both forms will provide pain relief, Dry Needling is aiming to restore normal tissue function.