Acupuncture & Dry Needling
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is used as part of our physiotherapy treatment to address specific conditions that are seen at our clinic. It is of no extra cost as it is included within the price of our physiotherapy treatment. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points in the body. Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called “endorphins”.
This results in pain relief, reduced inflammation, general relaxation, and regulation of the body systems. One of the most unique aspects of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of reverse effects or complications. We also only use disposable needles as a one time basis. Most people feel only minimal if any discomfort with the insertion of the needles. This is possible because the stainless steel needles are so extremely fine. Not all physiotherapists are trained in the delivery of acupuncture as part of therapy.
At our clinic all of our physiotherapists have completed various courses with the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada. Call us today to have any of your questions answered or to book an appointment to get started.
What is Dry Needling?
Functional Dry Needling (FDN), also known as Trigger Point Dry Dry Needling (TDN), is a treatment that uses very small, sterile acupuncture needles to release muscular trigger points, tightness and spasm which can be causing pain and movement dysfunctions. Small, thin needles are inserted in the muscles at the trigger points causing the pain referral. The muscles then contract and release, improving flexibility of the muscles and decreasing symptoms.
In FDN treatment techniques the insertion of the needle activates a reflex causing the muscle to release which eases the pain. The insertion of the needle causes a minor trauma to the tissue which results in an increased blood flow in the area.
In addition, various biochemical changes have been shown to occur following this technique. All of these effects combine to normalize the muscle tone and thereby desensitize the nerve compression. This allows the muscle to be receptive to rehabilitation to restore normal movement patterns and peak performance of the muscular system.
What are Trigger Points?
Myofascial trigger points are hyper-irritable spots found in tight bands of muscles or in the muscle’s fascia layer. They are usually very painful when pressure is applied to them and the pain can radiate to various areas in the body. This muscular tightness and spasm will cause compression and irritation of the nerves exiting the spine. When the nerves are irritated, they cause a protective spasm of all the muscles to which they are connected. This may cause peripheral diagnoses, such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, decreased mobility and chronic pain.
Trigger points in one area can affect strength, flexibility and co-ordination of muscles causing altered movement patterns. These abnormal movement patterns can result in stress and strain to areas far away from the actual trigger.
In athletes, the presence of trigger points can lead to a significant decrease in performance. A very common trigger point is found in the Upper Trapezius muscle which results in headaches.