Dry needling uses very fine, sterile needles that are gently (and often painlessly) inserted into specific areas of the skin, as assessed by your podiatrist. It gets the name dry needling because no wet components pass through the needle – it is inserted, the body responds, and the needle is removed.
Dry needling is a complementary treatment that we often use when managing foot pain, running injuries, plantar fasciitis, muscle tightness and much more.
Trigger points are irritable areas in the muscles that have ’knotted’, often from an injury that has damaged the tissues and caused the muscle to contract. This causes pain and restrictions in movement, which may work against your recovery.
We insert the needles into these trigger points, which often causes a response from the body in the form of twitch or a full ache. Yes – you may see your muscle suddenly and involuntarily move in response! This is a good sign, and helps to decrease muscle contraction and pain, improve flexibility, and reduce chemical irritation. It also stimulates your body to get to work on this injured area, promoting healing and repair and helping clear waste from the injured muscle.
What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
Acupuncture comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, using specific predetermined points that are measured out for your body. Dry needling comes from Western medicine and evidence-based research.
Is dry needling painful?
While you may feel an ache or discomfort, it is short-lived and eases as soon as the needle is removed. Many patients don’t feel any pain. The benefits far outweigh any possible pain, and we’ve never had a patient not be able to tolerate it as dry needling is fairly gentle in nature. As your podiatrist is in full control throughout the appointment, if you would like to stop or have a needle removed, just let them know.