Doctors Hehir, Kobayashi and Viney practice a form of acupuncture called ‘Dry Needling’. This discipline of acupuncture is a western approach to the traditional form of Chinese acupuncture incorporating an evidence-based approach to the physiological effects of this intervention.
Dry Needling involves multiple advances of a fine filament needle into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point’. The aim of Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects. This technique is also effective in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.
The needle used is very thin and most subjects do not even feel it penetrate the skin. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of this needle. However if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp -’the twitch response’. The patient also may feel a reproduction of “their” pain which is a helpful diagnostic indicator for the practitioner attempting to diagnose the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Patients soon learn to recognise and even welcome this sensation as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length function to the involved muscle.
Doctors Hehir, Kobayashi and Viney have been trained in Dry Needling. They incorporate it into their work where it is considered to be appropriate, from a healing point of view and, of course, with the approval of the patient.