What is Dry Needling and what is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 

 

WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING?

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Dry Needling is a treatment technique where thin filiform needles are inserted through the skin into pathological areas of the muscle known as "trigger points" for the purpose of relieving myofascial pain and muscle spasm. These are the same needles used in traditional acupuncture therapy, they are solid rather than hollow, and no medication is injected.

Dry needling is used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise.

When performing dry needling, there may be a "twitch response" where the specific band of muscle involuntarily contracts in response to insertion of the needle.  Beneficial effects can occur without elicitation of the twitch response.  Sometimes electrotherapy is also applied with the trigger point needling technique, this is referred to as electroacupuncture. If electroacupuncture is considered appropriate, small clips are attached to specific needling locations and a mild electrical current is applied. Electrical muscle stimulation aids in stimulating blood flow, reducing pain and relieving muscular spasm. 

In the State of California, the only providers who can legally perform these types of needling techniques are licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors. A licensed acupuncturist's education and training in needling techniques requires a Master's degree obtained after 3 years of education and training. 

Compared to Dry Needling, Acupuncture, when applied as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, uses acupuncture points on the surface of the body that are located along "meridians" that correspond with the internal organs and the energies associated with those organs. Traditional acupuncture techniques aim to relieve congestion of energy and blood, thereby restoring circulation and reducing symptoms associated with said qi (energy) stagnation. 

Graston Technique Enhances Chiropractic and Acupuncture Treatment Newport Beach

Graston Technique

Graston Technique is successful in effectively treating all soft tissue conditions, whether they are chronic, acute and even post surgical. The Graston Technique offers many advantages to the patient such as:

  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent

Changing the way soft tissue injuries are treated

Graston Technique is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.

Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 9,000 clinicians worldwide—including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers.

GT is utilized at some 830 outpatient facilities and industrial on-sites, by more than 160 professional and amateur sports organizations, and is part of the curriculum at 38 respected colleges and universities.

 

2 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Improve Your Posture!

As is the case for most of us, maintaining good seated posture is a chore and requires diligent effort.  We begin our day with the best of intentions, however, as the hours wear on and the computer screen seems to drift farther away from our line of sight, the inevitable slouch takes hold.

Finally, when the day is done and we peel away from the work station, the effects of the day linger.
That dull ache at the back of your head, where your neck and base of your skull meet, and the nagging soreness in the middle of your back between the lower part of your shoulder blades.

And repeat the next day and the day after that.

The importance of good posture goes beyond aesthetics.  Improperly loaded joints wear quicker than properly aligned ones. This can lead to pain and injury.  Again, think of your car's alignment and the affects on your tires.

Here are a couple exercises you can perform RIGHT NOW to aid in the fight against gravity and the dreaded slouch!..........(CLICK THE LINK BELOW!)




First, think about your head position.  Are you jutting your chin forward like your "walking like and Egyption" (sorry if you don't get the song reference!).  If so, push your chin straight back until you feel a slight stretch at the back of your neck and a "double chin" feeling in the front.

Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
 Next, either seated or standing draw your attention to the area between your shoulder blades. Rotate your arms so that your palms are facing forward.  Squeeze your shoulder blades together and reach your fingertips toward the floor so that your shoulders aren't just going back, but pushing downward.  Don't just stick out your chest.

Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.



These simple exercises will help "wake up" your tired postural muscles and help you maintain better posture throughout the day if you make an effort to stop what you are doing and perform them at least 5 times throughout the day.  They wont fix everything, but it's a start!  For additional information, or to address pain that doesn't resolve quickly, consult with your Newport Beach Chiropractor, Dr. Tara Pierce.  If your chronic postural stress has gone on for very long, you may require some additional help!

Acupuncture and Chiropractic offer relief from back and neck pain, headaches and even stress management! Call our office today to set an appointment! TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT NOW  CLICK HERE!

Newport Beach Chiropractor goes Beyond Spine Care

When you think "Chiropractor", you usually think "Spine", and you would be right, but only half way...

Did you know that chiropractors treat all your joints, not just those causing you back and neck pain?  Your Newport Beach chiropractor treats all the joints and muscles of your body from TMJ (jaw joint) to the joints and muscles of your feet!  Have you been having elbow pain getting in the way of your golf or tennis swing?  We can help with that too! Wrist pain from too much typing?  Knee pain after starting a new workout routine? We'll fix that too.

So, next time you experience aches and pains in areas other than your back and neck, remember your chiropractor can help!  By treating the muscles that move your bones and the tendons and ligaments connecting it all, your Newport Beach chiropractor goes beyond the typical spinal pain treatments chiropractors are known for.  As the saying goes, "it's all connected".  Your chiropractor has the education and experience to effectively treat your pain from A to Z.  From Achilles tendons to zygapophyseal  joints (in your spine)! 

Call us today for your free consultation and to find out if we accept your insurance (we accept most).  (949)300-2028.

How does Acupuncture work?.....Really.

While the concepts of acupuncture/traditional Chinese medicine may seem far-fetched and outdated in this age of technology and medical advancement, research reveals that the ancient Chinese weren't all that far off.

Here are a few examples of modern medical techniques validating acupuncture treatment:

Neuroimaging (MRI of the brain) studies show that acupuncture seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation.

Doppler ultrasound (which measures in real time) shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas.

Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside.  Acupuncture treatment also leads to endorphin release. 

Many of the acupuncture points correspond to nerve bundles or muscle trigger points (think the area in your upper back between the base of your neck and the tip of your shoulder). Several meridian pathways closely follow major arteries and nerves. Consider this: When someone is experiencing a heart attack, the pain radiates across the chest and down the left arm. As you may have guessed, that is the path of the Heart Meridian.  Similarly, Gallbladder pain from inflammation or gallstones will radiate to the right upper shoulder, similar to where the gallbladder meridian goes on the right side of the body.  

"When acupuncture needles are inserted by the practitioner into the body and rotated, connective tissue wraps around them like spaghetti around a fork, according to ultrasound studies at the University of Vermont. Helene Langevin, research associate professor of neurology, says this action stretches cells in the connective tissue much like massage and yoga do, and may act like acupuncture meridians to send signals throughout the body."



While we don't know everything about how or why acupuncture works, the research looks promising.  Medical minds aside, as I have mentioned in previous posts, this stuff works.  For 5,000 years people have been helped by the simple act of inserting tiny needles into the surface of the body using good intention and careful point selection.  Next time you have an ache or pain, stress, menstrual cramps or any health ailment for that matter, consider trying something that has worked for thousands of years without dangerous side effects before you try something that has possibly hurt thousands for the last 10 years. 

For Chiropractic or Acupuncture treatment in the Newport Beach area contact Dr. Tara Pierce at (949)300-2028 to make an appointment.