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Acupuncture

At Physio Excellence, we have been using musculoskeletal acupuncture techniques in conjunction with our physiotherapy to complement effective treatment for over 10 years with amazing results.

Our physiotherapists are trained and experienced in the added skills in the area of acupuncture and dry needling (DN). Our physiotherapists work in diverse fields such as musculoskeletal, sports, neurology, women’s health, respiratory and animal physiotherapy.
Traditional acupuncture and DN techniques are integrated into our physiotherapy treatment to enhance the clinical effectiveness, as well as broaden the range of conditions that we treat effectively. We found that acupuncture compliments our Physiotherapy treatment for a highly effective treatment of acute and chronic back pain, neck pain, tension-type and migraine headaches, pelvic girdle pain, knee osteoarthritis, lateral elbow pain, shoulder conditions, hand and wrist pain, hip and leg pain, ankle pain and fibromyalgia to name a few. Acupuncture can be used to treat nearly all sources of muscle and joint pain.

ACUPUNCTURE: WHAT IS IT?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles at very precise acupuncture points.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place.

WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?
Most patients feel only minimal discomfort or pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel and they are designed not to cut the skin. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is little to none. Because our physiotherapists use disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

Evidence-based medicine is paramount when considering patient care. In the area of migraine and tension-type headaches (TTHA) acupuncture has been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine and TTHA attacks. Acupuncture and dry needling reports positive reductions in pain and improved functional outcomes in the treatment of chronic neck pain, radicular arm pain, acute and chronic lower back pain and in particular for sub-acute and chronic Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD). Pelvic girdle pain has been specifically researched in Europe and the latest European Guidelines recommend the use of acupuncture along with pelvic support belts and stabilising exercises.

In the shoulder region, acupuncture and dry needling are supported for treatment of rotator cuff dysfunction and impingement and supraspinatus tendinopathy. Systematic review supports the use of acupuncture in all stages of frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) to reduce pain and in the second and third stages needling therapies are supported to be used with multimodal treatment which includes specific exercises and mobilisations. Good evidence also exists in the area of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylalgia), OA knee pain and more recently evidence have emerged for the conditions of plantar fasciitis and chronic ankle instability. In the last five years, high-quality research has been published regarding jaw pain (Temporo Mandibular Disorder) with positive effects of decreased pain, and improved mouth opening and function is detected. Tendinopathy and fibromyalgia are distinct conditions that now have systematic support in dry needling and acupuncture respectively.

In the area of women’s health, acupuncture has been shown to be effective for reducing pain in dysmenorrhea, polycystic ovarian disease, and endometriosis. For pain reduction in cancer, acupuncture has been shown to be effective if combined with drug therapy, whilst surprisingly TENs machine use has inconsistent results. Neurology is another area which has had a marked increase in acupuncture RCTS in the last five or so years. Conditions such as stroke (in particular shoulder pain post stroke), Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Bell’s Palsy and Parkinson’s disease all have emerging scientific evidence with a mixed level of support.

In the area of sports physiotherapy, acupuncture and dry needling are now commonly utilised. Along with treating injuries, it may also be used in conjunction with sports screening to enhance the functional ability and research has shown that dry needling of trigger points increases synergistic muscle activity.

 

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