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 nerve origin with 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. Usually the process is assisted by home exercises.
Traction aims to create a negative pressure within the disc. This movement ‘back’ aims to release nerve pressure that may be present allowing the inflammation around and within the nerves to reduce. In addition to traction it is important to comply with the specific advice and/or home exercise prescribed by the physiotherapist. This is to minimize the stresses on the disc and to strengthen and stabilise the spine.
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 injured muscle or ligament.
Interferential Current is another form of electrotherapy. You will expect to feel mild tingling as an electric current passes through muscles and helps reduce muscle spasm, pain and inflammation.
T.E.N.S. ( “Trans-Cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation”)is a battery operated electric device used for pain control. It helps the body release naturally occurring endorphins and locally desensitizes nerve endings to reduce pain.
Heat and Ice
Heat and Ice are used in a variety of ways. Moist heat packs assist in relaxing muscle tension, stiff joints and reducing pain. 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 (PRICE) for treatment of an acute injured area such as a sprained ankle.