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Dry Needling

What’s this all about and why are you trying to stick needles in me?

Western dry needling; what it is and why we use it.

You may be familiar with Traditional Eastern Acupuncture, which involves age old practices of finding Meridians and channels and tapping in to flows of energy for various physical and mental ailments. Although some physios may also dabble in this use, our use of needles does not involve this approach.  So we won’t be trying to fix your asthma or your skin rash.

The Western Dry Needling approach has taken the same needles and used them in quite a different way. We use the needles to stimulate tissues of the body to provoke a response and aid the healing process in not an entirely dissimilar way that we use hands on manual therapy.

Dry needling works on the premise of deactivating specific painful trigger points that are found in muscle or fascia. Trigger points can be active or latent and while many trigger points will settle spontaneously, some can persist and drive painful episodes.

Dry needling can often decrease pain in these trigger points but the mechanisms behind this response are complex and still not completely understood.

Dry needling can:

  • improve range of motion
  • reduce pain
  • facilitate muscle activation
  • increase blood flow

Depending on the area and condition being treated, needling is then followed with advice and exercise to reinforce the effects of the needling. For example in a case of hip pain, we may use needling to stimulate your hip flexors, then followed by some glute activation exercises in order to kickstart the rehab process to strengthen your hip. It’s often a useful adjunct to therapy but is never the whole answer to the problem and shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix.

While dry needling is relatively safe, there are precautions to be taken which your physio will always discuss with you. Common side effects include an ache in the area for 24-48hours post treatment, occasionally bruising and drowsiness following treatment. There are certain candidates and areas of the body that may not be suitable for dry needling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

YVONNE McKENNY || APA SENIOR PHYSIOTHERAPIST | CLINICAL PILATES & WOMENS WELLNESS
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Connect with Yvonne McKenny on LinkedIn

Yvonne graduated from the University of Sydney in 2013 and has been working in the musculoskeletal field of sports & spinal injury management since late 2013.

Yvonne’s physiotherapy career has spanned across various settings, from post operative orthopaedics, to public outpatients and private musculoskeletal clinics. This gives Yvonne a broad range of experiences when dealing with patients from the early acute stages of injury, right through to the late stages of rehab.

From a keen sporting background of netball and competitive swimming to more recently cycling and running, Yvonne can appreciate what is involved in training, the obstacles and the rollercoasters and its importance to each individual.

Throughout her own experiences, she has utilised pilates and has seen its benefits in her ability to perform. She has since completed further training to become an APPI certified pilates instructor.

Yvonne has completed further training in running gait analysis and dry needling as well as utilising a hands on approach in order to provide a range of treatment approaches to cater for her patient’s various needs.

Yvonne has also completed further post-graduate training with the Women’s Health Training Association.  She has a love of women’s wellness, and a very special interest in the conditions that may exist for women of all ages with challenges in and around the pelvic floor.

Yvonne has returned home to Sydney CBD after 2.5 years working with the active ambitious clientele of central London and is eager to embrace the similar context of the vibrant Barangaroo scene.

Yvonne is fascinated by the body, the nervous system and its endless potential to change and improve. She believes in empowering her patients to understand their body so that they can perform at their best.