What is Acupuncture and How is it Used in Physiotherapy?

Acupuncture in Physiotherapy

Acupuncture is a technique used by physiotherapists where thin filament needles are inserted through the skin to help alleviate muscular and neurological pain. There are several different types of acupuncture used by different practitioners to treat different things. At Peak Form Physiotherapy, our therapists are trained in neuroanatomical acupuncture or dry needling.

Neuroanatomical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture based on the human anatomy, so placement of the needles is dependent on the structure your therapist is trying to treat, whether it is a muscle that is in spasm or a nerve that is being compressed or pinched. This technique is primarily used to reduce acute or chronic pain.

Dry needling takes neuroanatomical acupuncture one step further. In this technique, an acupuncture needle is inserted into myofascial trigger points, or bands of taut muscle fibres that cause soreness, pain, and muscle tension. These trigger points also lead to changes in the surrounding nerves which can increase the area’s sensitivity to pain.

Together, this creates a vicious pain cycle that is the basis behind any abnormal or chronic pain. The needle is then stimulated manually or with an electrical current to decrease muscle spasm as well as reset the neural hardwiring of the painful area. Dry needling works well to not only decrease muscle spasms, but also decrease the area’s sensitivity to pain as well as restoring the body’s natural movement patterns.

Acupuncture and dry needling can be used to treat a number of different musculoskeletal issues, including:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Muscle spasms/strains
  • Sciatic or pinched nerves
  • Chronic pain

These techniques can also be utilized to treat the athletic population with acute sports injuries. Many healthy professional athletes take advantage of dry needling during post-training recovery with their physiotherapists, with the goal of allowing them to train harder, recover faster, and perform better than before.

Contact us today by phone at (905)271-1000 or email us at info@peakformphysio.com to learn more about how we use acupuncture with physiotherapy treatments!

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