Acupuncture and Dry Needling
How it Works:
Acupuncture (AP) has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins and ACTH from within the central nervous system (CNS). Both are desirable in the body post injury or in disease.
Did You Know:
Naloxone has been shown to block the analgesic effects of low frequency (4 Hz) electrical acupuncture (Rapson, L. 1984). Naloxone’s ability to block the pain relieving effects of electrical acupuncture supports research hypothesis that acupuncture does in fact stimulate the release of natural opioids in the body. It has proven particulary effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems and headaches. Complications and side effects associated with acupuncture treatments are minimal.
In addition to their use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, AP needles are also employed for dry needling purposes. Several dry needling techniques currently exist internationally based on different models, the most common being the trigger-point model and the radiculopathy model. Recent insights into the nature and neurophysiology of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) have progressed the understanding of their clinical presentation in myofascial pain syndromes. The trigger point model employs both superficial and deep dry needling techniques to specifically target MTrPs. Trigger points are believed to result from the excessive release of acetylcholine from motor end plates. “Active MTrPs can spontaneously trigger local pain in the vicinity of the MTrP, or they can refer pain or parasthesia to more distant locations. They cause muscle weakness, range of motion restrictions, and several autonomic phenomena.” (Dommerholt et al. 2006). The Gokavi Transverse Technique is another model which employs high-frequency electrical stimulation prior to transverse dry needling. The radiculopathy model, now known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), is based on the work of Canadian medical physician Dr. Chan Gunn. IMS also targets the MTrP.
Impact on Clinical Practice:
Given the scope of acupuncture/dry needling in the management of acute and chronic pain conditions, it is worthwhile to consider it as a treatment option for not only those clients presenting with musculoskeletal problems and/or chronic myofascial pain but also clients who are unable to use specific medications and /or as a form of supplementary pain management.
Acupuncture and dry needling are treatment measures employed by several of the physiotherapists on staff at Corona Station Physical Therapy. In addition to needling techniques, our physiotherapists provide comprehensive management of the presenting condition. For more information, please contact us at the clinic by phone or email and ask to speak to one of our physiotherapists.