“A headache is one of the most commonly shared causes of human misery”
More recently a branch of acupuncture called ‘Myofacial Acupuncture’ or ‘Dry Needling’ has been developed in the West. This uses acupuncture needles but is aimed more directly at rebalancing disturbances in the body’s musculo-skeletal framework and at reducing pain.
Conditions that often respond positively to osteopathic Dry Needling techniques
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Muscle Spasms
- Sciatic Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
Traditional acupuncture aims to stimulate the healing energy flow throughout the body.
In contrast, dry-needling (also known as “modern acupuncture”) is more focused on releasing muscle tension by treating specific trigger points, alleviating nerve tissue irritation by reducing the nerve impulse, or stimulating local blood supply where it may be naturally poor, for instance at the junction between tendons or ligament bone.
As such, it is often a highly useful adjunct to osteopathic treatment. Most frequently, needles of varying lengths are inserted directly into muscle mass. The needles are lightly manipulated to elicit a dull local sensation of “pins and needles” – the sign that muscle tissue is responding to treatment.
Up to a dozen needles may be used per treatment, and may remain in position for anything between 5 and 20 minutes. New sterile needles are used for each insertion, and immediately discarded into a hermetic container.
Although many patients are nervous about the thought of needles being “stuck into them”, the treatment is virtually painless, and many patients fall asleep during treatment. Also, provided a few simple rules of hygiene are observed, the risks of infection are almost nil.