Acupuncture and Dry Needling in Physiotherapy

At Core Body Clinic we practice Western Acupuncture and Dry Needling.  This is an evidence based approach to acupuncture and follows the principles of neurophysiology rather than the 3000 year old Chinese approach. 

 Physiotherapists have carried out Acupuncture for decades and it forms part of the treatment for many ailents affecting the back and body.  The physiotherapists at Core Body Clinic are trained to carry out Acupuncture and dry needling as stand alone treatments and as part of a package of care.  The techniques involve the placing of needles into carefully selected anatomical points that correspond to a patient's pain and symptoms.   Acupuncutre can be particularly helpful for stubborn conditions and can also be used for acute injuries.  All our physiotherapists are specially trained having completed an approved course with either the AACP or BMAS.   Acupuncture and dry needling are identical in as far as the act of placing a needle into the skin.  The technique is a safe and effective means of achieving pain relief and can be used for an array of conditions.


How Does it Work?

For every action there is a reaction.  Placing needles into the skin stimulates a neuromodulatory effect.  The brain stimulates the release of neuro chemicals that cause a cascade of reactions which contribute to the relief of pain.  A local immune response initiated on the needle entering the skin causes the release of pain inhibitory chemicals within close proximity to the injury site.  There are some theoretical suggestions that local tissue stimulation may have an effect on healing, where injury recovery may have been delayed because of delayed tissue response.

Dry needling may also be used to treat Trigger Points.  The theorised mechanism is believed to work by directly disengaging the motor nerve driving the tigger point generation.

Dry needling and acupuncture may be delivered in combination with electric impulses, a method known as ‘Electro-acupuncture’.  This method has been shown to enhance the number of different neuro-chemicals, beyond that of normal acupuncture / dry needling methods.

What can it treat?

Acupuncture and dry needling are usefull in treating an array of problems.  At Core Body clinic we have found it useful for the treatment of:

How does it feel?

Does it hurt? - A very common question.  The placement of a needle beneath the skin or into a muscle may elicit a small scratch and if as a patient you are particularly worried then it might not be the best form of treatment.  

Many patients experience a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing upon receiving acupuncture.  The process drives the process of endorphin release with tiredness often a post treatment side effect. 

Will it work?

Good question.  We know that this type of treatment will not work for all conditions and will not work for everyone.  At Core Body Clinic we combine evidence of research, of the patients we have seen together with out clinical judgement to determine the best treatment for you.  The vast majority of people do find some relief from acupuncture and this enables them to progress on with rehabilitation.  It can be particularly useful for stubborn conditions and those resistent to conventional treatments.  

Is it Safe?

Very! At Core Body Clinic we are highly trained physiotherapists with a highly comprehensive and detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology.  We know the location of common blood vessels and nerve pathways, and we adhere to strict acupuncture points and bony land marks.  All needles are single use and disposed of after use.  

Further reading:

Tough EA1White ARCummings TMRichards SHCampbell JL. (2009) Acupuncture and dry needling in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials European Journal of Pain.Jan;13(1):3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2008.02.006. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

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