Acupuncture is a traditional medical treatment to help the body heal by inserting very fine needles into specific points in the body. At Optimize, we use acupuncture as an effective way to reduce pain, improve energy and stimulate the natural healing process of the body. If you’ve never had acupuncture before, it might feel odd, but that’s why our job is to make sure you fully understand your treatment with our individualized approach. Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other physiotherapy, and your therapist may include it as part of the initial treatment plan or later on, depending on your challenges and goals.
So how does it work? When your physiotherapist applies small needles on the body’s pressure points, nitric oxide in the body increases. Circulation improves as the blood vessels become relaxed, improving blood flow to carry more oxygen throughout the body. This is an important part of healing. Acupuncture can also provide significant relief from chronic pain suffering, as natural endorphins are released when the needles are placed in different points on the body.
Dry needling is the insertion of acupuncture needles into specific trigger points within a muscle. These tight regions are targeted to help alleviate both acute and chronic conditions. We call this an intra-muscular technique and it can be used to create a neurophysiological change to help restore function and reduce pain. This technique is suitable for almost anyone, but of course a thorough assessment is always completed to determine if dry needling is appropriate for you.
Remember, at Optimize we consider dry needling to be “another tool in the toolbox” and typically utilize it within a broader treatment plan to increase overall effectiveness.
Dry needling is effective for a number of common injuries or issues:
- tension headaches
- neck pain and tightness
- rotator cuff injuries
- shoulder impingement
- tennis elbow
- golfers elbow
- patellofemoral pain syndrome
- low back pain and tightness
- Achilles tendonitis