Both acupuncture and dry needling are widely used, safe forms of treatment. In both cases, single-use sterile needles are used and excellent levels of hygiene are observed. If one of these treatment techniques is recommended for your condition, the benefits and any possible side effects will be explained to you so you can decide whether you would like to go ahead with the treatment. If you are interested in either of these techniques for your condition, please contact Lucie to discuss or book an appointment.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment which has been adapted to physiotherapy clinical practice in order to help reduce pain and modulate function. Very fine needles are inserted into specific pre-described acupuncture points which have documented effects. At Peak Performance, acupuncture is often used in conjunction with manual therapy and exercise therapy, and can be particularly useful when pain is the primary feature of a musculoskeletal problem. There is now a good research base to show chemical changes within pain pathways in the central nervous system as a result of acupuncture. Excellent clinical evidence, in the form of large randomised controlled trials, has also demonstrated the benefits of acupuncture for cervicogenic headaches (caused by the neck), chronic low back pain and arthritis of the knee.
Dry needling uses a different clinical philosophy for the treatment of pain and functional restrictions. It is widely used in physiotherapy practice worldwide, particularly in sports settings. It uses the same fine needle as acupuncture but this is inserted into a myofascial trigger point as opposed to an acupuncture point. A myofascial trigger point is a fibrous nodule within muscle which, when stimulated, may produce tenderness, a local twitch response in the muscle and/or referred pain (a dull ache is felt some distance away from the needle at a predictable location). Manual stretching of the muscle is carried out after the treatment in order to maximise the overall effect. Dry needling is an excellent adjunct to manual therapy and sports massage in order to treat pain and functional restrictions which have neuromuscular origins.