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. 

"Cupping" at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Dr. Pierce

No, not the Dr. Pierce you are all familiar with! Dr. Kevin Pierce, Dr. Tara's husband!

Dr. Kevin is a part of the 2016 Olympics medical staff and was a part of a demonstration of cupping on the Today Show this morning! check out the video to learn a little bit about the treatment modality picking up steam at the Rio Games! With the likes of Michael Phelps enthusiastically jumping on board!

Dr. (Tara) Pierce also performs cupping in her Newport Beach chiropractic and acupuncture practice. To learn more about if this treatment might be right for you, contact the doc or set up an appointment today!

Kids and Backpack Safety

It's that time of year once again when the kids are saying goodbye to summer and going back to school!  While this is an exciting time for a lot of kids, new friends, new teachers and new school clothes, it also means filling up those backpacks with lots and lots of books and supplies. 

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"About 6,000 children are injured each year from wearing an inappropriate backpack," Linda Rhodes, senior occupational therapist at Children's Hospital of Georgia, said in a Georgia Regents University news release.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, a child's backpack should not exceed 10-15% of that child's weight. In addition to weight, the manner in which the bag is worn is equally important.  Both straps should be worn on both shoulders, (no leaning to the side) and the length of the backpack should not hang below their waist.  

If your child has to bend forward at the hips or lean back in order to walk with their bag, adjustments must be made! Wide padded straps are also recommended to prevent nerve compression around the shoulder region.

This is vitally important to protect your child's back and prevent these types of injuries. Kids are already sitting in class most of the day and probably aren't practicing proper posture.  

In addition to overuse injuries such as sprains/strains due to use of an overly heavy pack, other dangers could arise, such as potential trips and falls due to clumsy walking with the overweight bag.  

Do yourself and your young ones a favor and weigh your child and their backpack and talk to them about the importance of what has been expressed in the above post. They only get one back for their lifetime, and although they are young, that doesn't mean they can't get injured! Help them stay active, safe and injury free!

For questions about backpack safety and how we can help, call the office or set up an appointment today! Click Here!   

Bad Posture Isn't Just Ugly...It's a Syndrome.

Upper crossed syndrome.

You may be asking yourself, WHAT THE HECK IS UPPER CROSSED SYNDROME??  

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Well, I am here to tell you.  Upper crossed syndrome refers to postural and muscular imbalances caused by certain muscles being facilitated (activated) while others are inhibited (lazy) leading to slumped forward, not-so-attractive posture.   

What does upper crossed syndrome look like?

If you were to look around any office you will likely be able to spot at least one case of this syndrome.  Basically, slouched posture, rounded back with chin jutting forward.  While this is obviously not an attractive look, the implications go far beyond appearance.  

This "condition" mostly affects those who sit for long periods of time at a desk or in a car. When one gets lazy with their posture and gradually assumes the above described position a few things begin to happen.  

From the top down: the muscles in the back of your head and neck become overworked, trying to keep your eyes on the horizon  because of your rounded shoulders and jutting chin.  This can lead to tension headaches you feel at the base of your skull and into your temples. Your scapular (shoulder blade) muscles responsible for pulling your shoulders back into their proper position go into hibernation mode and are then unable to combat the effects of your tight pectoral muscles, which pull you further forward.  

So what? When you assume this posture described above, the normal curves of the spine are altered.  The curve in your neck straightens and the curve in your mid-back becomes exaggerated.  When this occurs the joints don't wear evenly and wear and tear is accelerated. This can lead to pain and early onset of arthritis in the spine.  

If you suspect you are afflicted with this syndrome, there's hope!  Dr. Pierce used chiropractic care to restore joint mobility to the spine, muscle release to relax tight muscles and exercise to strengthen and  correct the problem long-term.  If addressed early, you can avoid the painful and debilitating effects of upper-crossed syndrome! To make your appointment call (949)300-2028 or book online today!