Acupuncture is one of the many skills used within physiotherapy as an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation and as a means of stimulating the body’s own healing chemicals in order to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation (getting better, quicker).
Acupuncture is used by Physiotherapists, against a background of sound research and evidence, as a means of enhancing pain modulation via the stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to produce NATURAL pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins; melatonin to promote sleep, serotonin to promote well being, to name but a few.
These assist the body’s healing process and offer pain relief as a precursor for other manual or exercise therapy.
There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture that are described below:
Conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.
Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer term un-resolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30 minute treatment time.
IMS Acupuncture (IMS) differs from usual forms of acupuncture, by targeting shortened muscles with the needle inserted into a plunger for better direction and ease. IMS, compared to acupuncture, is a much more active process by the practitioner. It is very useful in treating Tennis elbow, low back pain, rotator cuffs, stiff necks, headaches, issues, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and much more.