Acupuncture, Dry needling, Cupping and Physiotherapy

January 12, 2014

In recent years there have been an increasing number of physiotherapists trained in dry needling and acupuncture.  At Sunshine Coast Sportscare our trained physiotherapists use dry needling and cupping as a part of their treatment regime for musculoskeletal conditions and will individually discuss with each client the role needling or cupping may have in assisting them recover from their current injury.

Traditional Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in China and Japan and is different in its theory from the western dry needling approach used by most physiotherapists.  Traditional acupuncture is not widely practiced in a western medicine setting however acupuncture and traditional Chinese practitioners are available for consultation in most metropolitan and regional centres.

In our practice in Warana our physio’s use modern approaches of dry needling which can also vary greatly in the depth and number of needles used for your condition.  Trigger point needling is commonly used and will give a local twitch response which can be mildly uncomfortable but does serve as an excellent way to reduce muscle tone and spasm. Lighter dry needling techniques are also used which use thinner needles in shallow points for a more comfortable treatment. The number of needles used and depth of needling will vary greatly between clients and conditions but your physiotherapist will be able to explain the expectations to you prior to and during your treatment. Dry needling has an effect to increase the blood flow to the treated area and effect peripheral nerve sensitivity to help improve range of movement and reduce pain.

Cupping is a type of massage which uses suction cups on the skin to relieve soft tissue and muscle tightness. The cups can be left in place for a prolonged time but are more likely used in a sliding technique to greatly increase blood flow and improve movement.  Cupping is often a gentle treatment and can be combined with needling and other manual techniques.

Your physiotherapist can explain if cupping, dry needling or both techniques are useful to assist the treatment your condition.

This Blog was written by Adam mckenzie, principal physiotherapist at Warana Sportscare