Dry Needling, Electrotherapy & Remedial Myotherapy - What are the Benefits?


You’ve heard about acupuncture and dry needling and now we're adding electro dry needling to the mix. Our Myotherapist Stephanie Reidy takes you through what dry needling is all about and how she integrates it into her sessions.

Myofascial Dry Needling is also known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). It was created by Chan Gunn who based this therapy on the theory that muscle hypertonicity (or tightness) is caused by nerve compression, ultimately causing disturbed function and hypersensitivity in the peripheral nervous system = “neuropathic pain”. It is also based on Western Medical Acupuncture which is an evidence-based practice.


Dry Needling is an invasive technique that requires certification of the therapist and client understanding for consent.

It is important for a client’s condition to be established prior to treatment as treatment intensity varies for each condition and from client to client. Our certified therapists will assess you at your appointment and discuss the options of dry needling if it is relevant.

Dry Needling and Acupuncture are similar as they both use filiform needles and require a high level of knowledge of human anatomy, however, they do differ in the treatment theory. Myofascial dry needling requires a condition to be identified prior to treatment, this ensures the appropriate treatment is selected for the client and focuses on providing a solution for the identified injury or pain point. Acupuncture does not require a particular identification as it is a treatment for the whole body and does not focus on injury or pain caused by nerve compression. Needling insertion points also differ between the two techniques, Acupuncturists use points according to the Chinese philosophy of meridians and the flow of energy, whereas, myofascial dry needling uses points based on muscle examination such as myofascial trigger points, taut band in the muscle, or affected nerve root pathways.


Electro Dry Needling is a modified form of dry needling which utilises an electro-stimulation unit connected via cables to fine filament needles.

Although dry needling on its own can be an extremely effective treatment, the addition of electricity can enhance the treatment’s pain-relieving effect. Electro-stimulation helps to stimulate blood flow and provide analgesic effects to help numb the pain, usually providing long-term relief. It often prolongs the pain relief effect by blocking nerve pathways and preventing pain signals from travelling to the brain. Electro-stimulation helps treat pain by stimulating larger nerve fibres that replace the smaller nerve fibres that are causing pain. The larger nerves travel faster to override the small nerves, similar to if you were to rub a sore spot — you would feel the rubbing, not the pain point.

The frequency, intensity, and mode of stimulation will vary depending on the reason for the treatment.

Low Frequency/High-Intensity stimulation will typically be used with a frequency of 2-80Hz during Electro Stimulation, which is optimal for targeting the motor fibers that are responsible for producing long-term pain relief.

What does it feel like?

During your Electro Dry Needling treatment, you may experience twitching, contractions, numbness, or tingling in the area that is being treated. The frequency and intensity are consistently monitored to avoid pain or discomfort. This method of treatment often results in relaxation and pain relief.

Electro Dry Needling is commonly used to treat Acute and Chronic Conditions such as:

  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Strains, Spasms, Cramps, Hypertonicity, Trigger Points

  • Tendinopathies and Joint Pathologies: Arthritis, Sprains, Disc Pathologies, Joint Restriction

  • Nerve Damage: Neuropathy, Radiculopathy, Post-Operative Pain


How is it integrated into Myotherapy sessions?

When someone is experiencing neuropathic pain, chronic pain, muscle hypertonicity, muscle atrophy, or has a diagnosed injury or condition such as Tennis elbow, Fibromyalgia, Bulging Disc, and/or Osteoarthritis. It is used for long-term pain relief, to help relax muscles and nerves, as well as assisting with improving muscle atrophy and movement dysfunctions.

Steph is our myotherapist and accredited electro dry needling therapist.


An assessment and treatment plan with Steph may be the pain relief you have been searching for.

If you have been diagnosed with one of the above conditions and are seeking pain relief an initial assessment with Steph and a suitable treatment plan could provide the relief you are looking for.


Our other therapists (Coby & Laura) are able to use dry needling techniques - without the electrotherapy which provides relief for many musculoskeletal issues as well.


References:

Gunn, C. C. (1996). The Gunn Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain. USA: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE.

JIN Guan-Yuan, J. L. (2016). Dry needling: a de-meridian style of acupuncture. World Journal

of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1-5.

Kehua Zhou, Y. M. (2015). Dry needling versus acupuncture: the ongoing debate. Acupuncture Medicine, 485-490.

PENG Zeng-fu, N. G.-n.-h. (2016). The Comparison of trigger point acupuncture and traditional acupuncture. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1-6.

Stephen Janz, J. A. (2011). Acupuncture by Another Name: Dry Needling in Australia.

Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 3-11.



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