Dry Needling is the insertion of a fine filament needle into muscle “Trigger Points’. By releasing muscle tension and pain this is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects.
The needle used is very thin and is barely noticeable as it penetrates the skin. Healthy muscle usually feels very little discomfort, however if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it a sensation like a muscle cramp, ‘the twitch response,’ occurs.
This sensation is the result of deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length to the muscle.
Traction helps in the repair of intervertebral disc injuries. Otherwise known as spinal decompression therapy, traction addresses the functional and mechanical aspects of disc pain.
On average, with a few days between each traction treatment and resting during these intervals, it may take 3 or so treatments to achieve significant improvement. Often the process is assisted by a home exercise program.
Traction aims to create a negative pressure within the disc. This movement ‘back’ aims to also release any nerve root pressure that may be present allowing the inflammation around and within the nerves to reduce. In addition to traction it is important that the patient complies with the specific advice and/or home exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist. This is to minimize the stresses on the disc and to strengthen and stabilise the area with a program of exercises.
Ultrasound involves the therapeutic use of high frequency vibration to reduce swelling, promote healing and assist in scar tissue remodelling.
This is achieved by cellular vibration causing a biostimulatory effect in the injured tissue.
Interferential Current is another form of electrotherapy. A wave current passes through the body and helps to reduce muscle spasm, pain and inflammation.
T.E.N.S. stands for “Trans-Cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation”. This electric device is helpful for pain control. It causes the body to release naturally occurring endorphins to decrease pain. It also locally desensitizes nerve endings to reduce pain.
Heat and Ice
Heat and Ice are used in the clinic in a variety of ways. The moist heat packs assist with relaxing tense muscles and stiff joints and also for reducing pain. The ice is of value to decrease swelling in an injured area of the body. It is commonly used and included in the acronym Protection Rest Ice Compression Elevation for treatment of an acute injured area such as a sprained ankle.