Medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling)
Have you ever considered medical acupuncture for pain relief? Here at Morningside Chiropractic we offer medical acupuncture (dry needling) as an adjunct therapy alongside chiropractic care. It is often surprising to patients how effective and relaxing it can be for musculoskeletal pain!
WHAT IS MEDICAL ACCUPUNCTURE?
Essentially it is a therapy where needles are inserted into specific points to help relieve pain and encourage healing. These points are usually tender areas within your muscles known as trigger points or specific areas which stimulate the local nerves and skin. It is an adaptation of traditional acupuncture, where modern understanding of human anatomy and physiology is applied to bring about many positive responses including:
- Pain relief
- Reduction of inflammation
- Relax muscles
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Inserting a needle into a trigger point or classical acupuncture point is thought to cause various responses, all of which ultimately lead to reduction in pain. (1)The needle stimulates local nerves causing an increase in local blood flow which leads to an increase in oxygen and removal of local toxins which in turn improves the muscles ability to heal and relax. (2) Locally stimulated nerves send information to the spinal cord to tell it to relax that muscle and reduce pain stimulation for that area. (3) It stimulates the release of chemicals and hormones both locally and globally which induce a pain relieving effect and feeling of well being.
WHAT CAN IT BE USED FOR?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for the treatment of
You can also benefit from using acupuncture alongside chiropractic care for pain relief from other musculoskeletal conditions as well -
- Shoulder pain
- Tight muscles in the buttocks causing sciatica pain
- Relief from muscle spasm in all areas
- Relief from arthritic pain especially of the knees, neck and low back
IS ACCUPUNCTURE PAINFUL?
Everyone responds to treatment very differently and there are many kinds of feelings that the needles can stimulate. The response is very much determined by the individual and how they are feeling that day. Most people however do not notice any pain at all as the needle is inserted. This is because the needle is much finer than those you may have come across previously during a blood test or whilst having an injection. Whilst the needles are in you may notice an ache or feeling of heaviness in the muscle, which can spread to other areas. This is a positive sign. However, if the muscle is extremely tight then a feeling of twitching or cramping can occur. Some people may feel very lethargic during or after treatment due to the large stimulation on the nervous system. If you feel unwell or clammy during the treatment, please let us know and we will remove the needles.
IS IT SAFE?
Yes, we only use single sterile disposable needles. As part of the first assessment we always take a thorough medical history and ask about your general health. Please inform your chiropractor if you have any of the following- Pace maker; History of fainting or fits; Previous strong reaction to acupuncture; Bleeding disorder; Blood borne virus such as HIV or hepatitis; Heart valve problems or anything else which may make you prone to infection; Taking immune suppressant medication; If you are taking anti coagulation medication such as warfarin.
HOW LONG WILL ACCUPUNCTURE TAKE TO HAVE AN EFFECT?
The prognosis varies depending on many factors
- How long you have the complaint, the quicker you receive treatment the quicker the pain levels reside.
- Severity of the pain, in general the less intense your pain is the faster you will respond.
- Concomitant factors.
More often than not your pain is down to a combination of factors such as muscle tightness and joint restrictions which in turn lead to poor movement patterns. The less complicated your case is the quicker you will notice a decrease in pain levels and improvement in function.
WHAT IF I DONT LIKE NEEDLES?
If you do not like needles you don’t have to have this form of care. It is your treatment and so if it something that you are not comfortable with we can use one of the many alternatives such as deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy work.