Acupuncture & Dry Needling

A Modern & Evidence Based Adaptation of This Traditional Approach to Treating Pain.

Promoting a standard of clinical excellence in evidence-informed Medical Acupuncture within our Henley In Arden, Warwickshire clinic, and our Birmingham Clinic. Our Medical Dry Needling Faculty is run by Doctor of Chiropractic, Chloe Cashmore.
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What is Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture)?

Medical Dry needling is a skilled procedure whereby a sterile, single-use, fine filament needle (acupuncture needle) is inserted into the muscular and connective tissues for the management of musculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.

Dry needling is a form of Medical Acupuncture used by Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists to help reduce musculoskeletal pain and tension. It typically works as part of a package of physical therapy alongside other interventions such as manual therapy, exercise and rehabilitation, pain education, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) can be used to treat or manage a wide variety of conditions including Osteoarthritis / Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), Non-Specific Neck and Low Back Pain, and a range of Chronic Pain Syndromes.

Our Modern & Evidence-based Approach.

We begin by taking a thorough history of your complaint, as well as a full past medical history, family history and history of other factors which can influence the genesis of such a complaint.

This will be followed by a comprehensive physical examination consisting of: orthopaedic, neurological, postural, and gait evaluation. It is this thorough approach to examination that allows us to identify the factors that are contributing to the development and the continuation of your pain or injury.

If further testing (i.e Blood tests) or investigative imaging (i.e An MRI scan, CT scan, Ultrasound scan, or X-ray) is required, we can refer you swiftly and efficiently to an appropriate specialist for such investigation.

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Conditions Commonly Seen Within Dry Needling

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How Does Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) Work?

Current understanding of Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) is that it works through a whole range of mechanisms, acting upon both the local tissues and wider bodily systems:

Action on the central and peripheral nervous system.

Research suggests that Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) works on the gate control mechanisms of pain reduction, and acts to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, such as Oxytocin, Serotonin and Beta-Endorphins. These are chemicals within the body that, amongst other things, reduce the perception of pain within the body, and promote relaxation and healing responses.

Local biochemical changes within tissues.

Following Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture), levels of hydrogen ions, neurotransmitters (bradykinin, 5HT, NE, CGRP, and substance P), cytokines, and chemokines (TNF-α, IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-8) are reduced both locally and systemically (throughout the body).

Increased blood flow to local tissues.

In controlled experiments, Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) of the trapezius and Achilles tendon result in increased local blood flow to the needled site.

Decreased banding of myofascial tissue.

Following Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) there is decreased banding of the target tissue and a restoration of normal muscle architecture, including sarcomere length and endomysium spacing.

Decreased spontaneous electrical activity within connective tissue.

Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) elicits a local twitch response of a muscle trigger point, resulting in decreased electrical activity at that site. This change in electrical activity may reflect a normalisation of the neuromuscular junction (the junction between a muscle and the nerve innervating it).

How Does Medical Dry Needling Differ to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (Tca)?

The terms ‘Dry Needling’ or ‘Medical Acupuncture’ generally refer to the modern and evidence-based adaptation of traditional acupuncture. The objectives of Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) primarily focus around the reduction of pain and restoration of musculoskeletal function. There is good evidence that as part of a package of care, Dry Needling (Medical Acupuncture) can prove extremely helpful in the treatment of numerous musculoskeletal conditions.

In stark contrast, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a system of alternative medicine purporting the treatment of medical conditions by restoring the flow of energy (Qi) through critical points in the body (meridians) to restore balance.

There is very limited evidence to support that Traditional Chinese Acupuncture works through the mechanisms purported by its advocates. However, the ritualism of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture often carries with it a strong placebo mechanism, meaning that it can manifest a psychologic impression of improvement in many patients. This relies heavily upon the history and context of the practice: In fact, we know from experimentation that acupuncture works best if performed by a Chinese man, on a Chinese woman in China. It works worst if performed by a non-Chinese woman, on a Chinese Man, somewhere other than China! Think about how culture might play a role here…

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Is Medical Dry Needling Right for Me?

Medical Dry needling and Acupuncture is suitable for most individuals. However, it may be worth considering the following potential contraindications:
It’s our pleasure to look after a range of patients from the local areas of Henley in Arden, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick, Solihull, Redditch, Leamington Spa, Birmingham, Wootton Wawen, Claverdon, Knowle, Dorridge, Shirley, Hatton, Lapworth, and Hockey Heath etc. We are also proud to attract professional sports men and women / athletes, and likewise patients with more chronic and complex problems from a host of major cities, further afield throughout the UK: Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Bournemouth, Oxford, London etc.

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