Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Relieve Myofascial Pain with Myotech Dry Needles

Myofascial pain is more common than people think. Athletes, individuals and seniors all run the risk of suffering from myofascial pain at some point in their lives. But what is it exactly? Myofascial pain is a chronic type of muscular irritability that stems from trigger points (knots of muscle) within tissue most often located in the arm, neck or back.  These knots limit blood flow and trap lactic acid inside muscle fibers.  Extreme overuse or prolonged underuse of a muscle group is typically the underlying cause of myofascial pain, such as weight lifting irresponsibly or being confined to a cast for an extended period of time. However, myofascial pain can also be caused by an injury.

Diagnosing myofascial pain can be tricky as the majority of its symptoms are shared by fibromyalgia—a disease that also affects muscle tissue. Often times, it can be difficult for physiotherapists to pinpoint the source of the original strain.  Patients often experience a phenomenon known as “referred pain” where the original injury causes discomfort in a separate part of their body.  Those suffering from myofascial pain also often experience stiffness, fatigue, and have difficulty sleeping.  The stress resulting from this lack of sleep can lead to further degeneration of the muscles and limited mobility. However, those suffering from myofascial pain can still find relief. One of the most common treatments is dry needling.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a modern technique used by trained physical therapists and medical professionals to relieve myofascial pain.  Instead of focusing on the flow of energy pathways like the ancient Chinese acupuncturists, dry needling relies upon a thorough understanding of western medicine and human anatomy.  

By shallowly inserting a collection of thin filament needles into a patient’s tissue, therapists can release the contracted muscle knots and renew mobility.  These needles, such as the Myotech Dry Needles, are surgical grade and often coated with parylene to allow for smooth insertion.  Needles come in a variety of sizes, but it’s essential for needles to be stable upon insertion and thin enough to discourage infection.  Like any hypodermic syringe or needle, these needles should be safely discarded after a single use in a Sharps Container to prevent contamination and disease.  Dry needling as a practice is considered to be “dry” as the needles are only intended to stimulate the punctured tissue and do not contain any medication. 

Dry needling can relieve pain for a multitude of musculoskeleton conditions including, tendonitis, muscle spasms, sciatica, neck or back pain, hip or knee pain, muscle sprains and strains, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, RSI and overuse injuries.

Typically, physiotherapists will combine dry needling with a suitable exercise routine to rehabilitate the injured muscle groups. This routine often begins with light stretching and motor function exercises intended to improve the patient’s range of motion or bad posture.  Muscle strengthening exercises will be introduced later on in the rehabilitation process in order to ensure the lasting health of the injured tissue.

If you are experiencing myofascial pain and you are interested in learning more about dry needling, consult your physician or physiotherapist to see if it will be beneficial to your rehabilitation. After consulting, be sure to check out our full selection of dry needles and acupuncture needles!

Top 5 Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment

For many, the thought of acupuncture is cringing. However, this method has been widely used for over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest health care methods ever discovered. Originating in ancient China, this holistic healing technique was used to prevent illness and alleviate pain from injury or disease. In the past 50 years, acupuncture has transformed from an ancient practice to a popular, natural alternative to modern medicine. Acupuncture uses tiny, fine pointed needles to relieve energy blockages and promote healing and energy flow along the body’s medians or “acupuncture points.”

What types of conditions can it treat?

This method of healing is known to treat a wide range of illnesses, disorders and injuries. From neurological conditions to disorders orienting from the digestive system, acupuncture has many uses. Some of the most common disorders that can be treated by acupuncture are as follows:
  • Headaches and migraines
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps or strains
  • Common cold or sinusitis
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • "Tennis elbow"
  • Insomnia
  • Toothaches
  • General pain or discomfort

Benefits of Acupuncture

In addition to its versatility in relieving pain for a majority of conditions and illnesses, acupuncture also boasts many other benefits. For instance, acupuncture has been known to treat insomnia and back pain without the use of drugs. There are many ways individuals could benefit from acupuncture. Here are the top five:
  1. Improves mood. Compared with the results from counseling, weekly acupuncture treatments have been linked to improvements in mood and treating depression. The needles are able to help regulate “happy-making neurotransmitters in the brain,” according to Prevention Magazine.
  2. Reduces migraines.When needles are placed strategically, acupuncturists can apply tiny bouts of electric currents to reduce the number of migraines after a period of time.
  3. Relieves allergy symptoms.Have terrible allergies? Seasonal sufferers might want to try acupuncture for a holistic treatment. Acupuncture has been found to help with nasal allergies and improved the quality of life for patients suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis.
  4. Lowers blood pressure.The Director of Blood Pressure medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in the US conducted a recent study, which found that acupuncture stimulates nerves that communicate with the brain and “quiets down” the cells that control blood pressure. When these cells become less active, blood vessels are able to relax and expand.
  5. Provides drug-free pain reliefBecause there are no drug prescriptions involved, acupuncture proves to be a completely natural, safe and holistic approach to treating illnesses and injuries. For those that are wary about taking pills or other medicines, acupuncture could be a perfect fit!

As you can see, acupuncture is not as cringe-worthy as many people think! It can be a great way to holistically improve your overall health. If you’re interested in acupuncture therapy treatment, we recommend consulting a physician that has experience with Chinese medicine.