Here at Mike Varney Physiotherapy we use a broad range of different treatments within each treatment session. One of the more commonly used modalities is acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
Western Medical Acupuncture as opposed to Chinese Acupuncture is the use of acupuncture after a proper medical diagnosis. It is based on scientific evidence that shows the treatment can stimulate nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue. The insertion of very fine needles into the muscles “fools” the body into thinking it is being injured, therefore stimulating the nerves and producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins. It is likely these substances are responsible for any beneficial effects seen with this form of acupuncture.
The therapist’s at Mike Varney Physiotherapy are also trained in Dry Needling and IMS.
What Can I Expect?
Acupuncture involves very fine needles being inserted into the skin via a sterile tube. The needles that we use are of one use only and are disposed of after removal from the body. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort during acupuncture, however if the muscle is in spasm, you may experience an achy sensation or sharp scratchy sensation. Dry Needling may also elicit a twitch response which will feel like the muscle is moving around or a referral pain to another point in the body.
Dry Needling is an effective treatment for tension or spasm within the muscle. The needles are directed to Trigger Points, which are irritable points in muscles associated with a sensitive nodule or knot. During a session of dry needling the needle will elicit a local twitch response, which is an involuntary reflex, in which the muscle fibre’s contract and relax. Dry Needling that creates a twitch response speeds up the healing process and improves treatment outcomes.
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a form of acupuncture that is particularly effective in treating long term conditions such as:
- Chronic lower back pain
- Neck complaints.
IMS is also becoming increasingly popular for the relief of short term pain, with many top football clubs using the technique. IMS differs from usual forms of acupuncture, by targeting shortened muscles with the needle inserted into a plunger for better direction and ease.