Needling has been used for thousands of years to combat pain. The earliest records date back to 200BC with hieroglyphs suggesting even earlier use. There is some evidence to suggest that sharpened rocks may have once been used!
Thankfully modern needling is very safe and relatively painless. Serious side effects are very rare – less than 1 per 10,000 treatments. Acupuncture needles are the same width as human hair (much smaller than an injection needle) so having acupuncture does not feel the same as having an injection. The needles are disposable, pre-sterilised and individually packaged. These are often supplied in guide-tubes for easy insertion which means that there is no risk of anything touching the needle during the process. When needles are inserted, you may feel a temporary, sharp pricking sensation.
There is very good scientific evidence showing that acupuncture can help with short term relief of knee, neck and low back pain, and tension type headaches and migraine. It has also been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting in some situations. For other problems, there is little good scientific evidence that we can rely on because not enough good quality research work has been done. The commonest reason to try acupuncture is to treat painful problems.
Needling can be used to treat tight muscles. Trigger points are localised painful areas of a muscle that when stimulated gives rise to pain elsewhere in the body. They are associated with fibromyalgia, sleep deprivation conditions, thyroid deficiency, repetitive strain and overuse syndromes. They are very prominent in both chronic and acute pain patterns. Needling is used to alleviate discomfort, improve functional status and allow exercise. This is sometimes called dry needling.
Points near your pain and away from it can be used to reduce pain via different mechanisms.
Alleviate muscle spasm and tension
Dry needling of trigger points can give immediate reduction in painful or tense muscles.
Facilitate the healing process
Acupuncture regulates the inflammation process by increasing blood circulation in affected areas.
Promotion of general well-being
Acupuncture is associated with serotonin: your body's natural 'happy hormone'.
Improvement in Sleep Pattern
Many patients report improved sleep after acupuncture and occasional lethargy directly after treatment. If you are worried you can ask someone to drive you to your appointment, or select the mobile clinic option to receive acupuncture in your own home.
Take a look at the new Spin Physio clinic at Culverstone, or our ongoing service at Borough Green Medical Practice. See our map below for areas that qualify for the mobile clinic: Borough Green, Culverstone, Vigo, Meopham, New Ash Green, Longfield, Istead Rise, Cobham, Gravesend, Wrotham, Wrotham Heath, West Malling, Kings Hill, Sevenoaks, Seal, Otford. Contact us if you are unsure.