Acupuncture has been around for centuries, but is being utilized more and more by western medicine. Acupuncture is a treatment modality that is part of the physiotherapist’s tool box and can be used as part of their scope of practice. Acute and chronic pain can benefit from the systemic effects of acupuncture. Ask your physiotherapist if acupuncture is right for you.
Dry needling (or intramuscular stimulation; IMS) is a form of acupuncture in which needles are inserted into tight bands of muscle tissue. We have all felt tight “knots” in muscles, either from stress or strenuous workouts. These knots, or trigger points, are made up of muscle fibres that stay contracted and unable to fully relax. This is commonly found with chronic pain. Inserting the needles into these specific points will stimulate the muscle to twitch and then relax. Dry needling requires specialized training to be able to practice the technique.