Needling is a treatment option for patients that have soft tissue pain involving muscles, myofascial trigger points, tendons and ligaments. It involves using a fine hypodermic needle to break down scar tissue with or without injection of a substance. This promotes both cellular and inflammatory response of the tissue resulting in healing and strengthening of the tissue. This therapy is very effective in treating conditions that are considered chronic or that are not responding to more conservative treatments.
What is the difference between needling and acupuncture?
Modern dry needling is based on current medical science and research. This procedure is known and accepted by today's primary care and pain management physicians. The primary focus of the needling technique is to needle areas that harbor trigger points and scar tissue. As a result, increasing increase increasing range of motion and inflammatory response of the body. Acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese medicine where needles are inserted along "energy channels" to affect energy flow, no deeper than 2mm.
In our practice we prefer local pre-injection blocks before any needling is done in order to prevent pain from needle penetration to the painful areas. Anaesthesia also prevents post needling discomfort allowing for active movement of the tissue, promoting faster recovery.
Trigger points injections
A "trigger point" is a point in a skeletal muscle that is associated with pain, that can be in one specific spot or have pain radiating from that particular point.
Trigger point injections are a combination of needling and infiltration of a local anesthetic. This usually subsides the pain or muscle spasm, quickly allowing for immediate movement of the muscle or joint.
Needling technique is very effective in treating chronic injuries such as:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankle pain due to ligament injury
- Plantar fasciitis
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
Before starting any treatment, you should be properly assessed to determine whether or not needling therapy is the best course of treatment to deal with your specific problem.