Southampton Osteopath, Ed Webb, offers Dry Needling from our Bedford Place studio
What is dry needling?
The popular treatment of dry needling (as opposed to wet needling such as Botox, corticosteroids, anaesthetics etc), also known as western or medical acupuncture, is frequently used by health care professionals such as osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors and even some GPs.
By effectively isolating problem areas on the body, namely myofascial trigger points, the therapist can deliver fine acupuncture needles intramuscularly. Several studies have shown immediate improvements in pain and/or disability by targeting trigger points in this way, and there is no shortage of clients and patients who can advocate the outstanding effects of this ever-popular treatments.
How does Dry needling it work?
The proposed mechanism of dry needling involves the mechanical disruption of the integrity of dysfunctional endplates, alterations in the length and tension of muscle fibres and stimulation of mechanoreceptors, increased muscle blood flow and oxygenation, and endogenous opioid release affecting peripheral and central sensitization, among others.
What on earth does that all mean I hear you say?
Essentially, dry needling therapy induces a stimulatory effect on the body’s tissues, which helps kickstart the body’s own painkilling and healing capabilities; amazing right? Osteopaths amongst many other practitioners and therapists have known for a long time about the internal powers our bodies possess to heal themselves, our job is merely to bring about and facilitate this change and reach equilibrium.
Is it the same as regular acupuncture?
No. Although dry needling may look like traditional eastern acupuncture, it is very different. It has nothing to do with chi, meridians and acupoints affiliated with traditional Chinese medicine. Dry needling (Western Acupuncture) focuses on the musculo-skeletal system, making it a very effective part of any therapist’s toolkit.
At the You Massage & Therapy Centre Acupuncture is used, at the patient’s discretion, in conjunct with osteopathy; for a small extra fee. Typically, the length of time the needles are left on the tissues are approximately 5-10 minutes, the practitioner will never leave the room during this process, it may even be efficient/beneficial to treat other areas on the body simultaneously.
Does it hurt? Is it clean? Is it safe?
Dry needling is generally a painless experience, however, as with any form of treatment it largely depends on what is treated, for example, if you experienced ongoing muscle tightness and pain in a particular area for some years, you may feel some discomfort as the treatment starts to work, this is completely normal and a sign the treatment is working.
This soon subsides into a complete or significant reduction of pain. All of the needles we use are singular use sterilised blister pack needles, which are immediately disposed of after their use to a clinical disposal container. What’s more, this procedure is very safe when performed by a qualified professional. Safety is paramount when concerning all of our patients at the You Massage & Therapy Centre, therefore when you book in for an Osteopathic consultation with Ed, you can be sure that all bases have been covered in terms of safety and suitability.
Written by Osteopath and Acupuncturist Ed Webb for the YOU Massage & Therapy Centre 2019