Acupuncture

Acupuncture

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There is a multitude of different treatment approaches commonly used by your physiotherapist.

Acute & Sub-Acute Injury Management

Hands-On Physiotherapy Techniques

physiotherapy treatment

Your physiotherapist's training includes hands-on physiotherapy techniques such as:

Your physiotherapist has skilled training. Physiotherapy techniques have expanded over the past few decades. They have researched, upskilled and educated themselves in a spectrum of allied health skills. These skills include techniques shared with other practitioners. These include exercise physiologists, remedial massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, kinesiologists, chiropractors and occupational therapists, just to name a few.

Physiotherapy Taping

Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled professional who utilises strapping and taping techniques to prevent and assist injuries or pain relief and function.

Alternatively, your physiotherapist may recommend a supportive brace.

Acupuncture and Dry Needling

Many physiotherapists have acquired additional training in the field of acupuncture and dry needling to assist pain relief and muscle function.

Physiotherapy Exercises

Physiotherapists have been trained in the use of exercise therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your function. Physiotherapy exercises use evidence-based protocols where possible as an effective way that you can solve or prevent pain and injury. Your physiotherapist is highly-skilled in the prescription of the "best exercises" for you and the most appropriate "exercise dose" for you depending on your rehabilitation status. Your physiotherapist will incorporate essential components of pilates, yoga and exercise physiology to provide you with the best result. They may even use Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy so that you can watch your muscles contract on a screen as you correctly retrain them.

Biomechanical Analysis

Biomechanical assessment, observation and diagnostic skills are paramount to the best treatment. Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled health professional. They possess superb diagnostic skills to detect and ultimately avoid musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Poor technique or posture is one of the most common sources of a repeat injury.

Hydrotherapy

Aquatic water exercises are an effective method to provide low bodyweight exercises.

Sports Physiotherapy

Sports physio requires an extra level of knowledge and physiotherapy skill to assist injury recovery, prevent injury and improve performance. For the best advice, consult a Sports Physiotherapist.

Vestibular Physiotherapy

Women's Health

Women's Health Physiotherapy is a particular interest group of therapies.

Workplace Physiotherapy

Not only can your physiotherapist assist you in sport, but they can also help you at work. Ergonomics looks at the best postures and workstation set up for your body at work or home. Whether it be lifting technique improvement, education programs or workstation setups, your physiotherapist can help you.

Electrotherapy

Plus Much More

Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled body mechanic. Every physiotherapist has expertise in certain injuries or condition. For advice regarding your specific problem, please contact your physiotherapist.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a technique that was developed by Dr Chan Gunn. Dry needling is a beneficial method to relax overactive muscles.

In simple terms, the treatment involves needling of a muscle's trigger points without injecting any substance. Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles are the basis of dry needling. It should not be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture. However, since both dry needling and acupuncture utilise the same filament needles, the confusion is understandable.

Dr Chan Gunn, in his IMS approach, and Dr Fischer, in his segmental approach to Dry Needling, strongly advocate the importance of clearing trigger points in both peripheral and spinal areas.

Dry needling trained health practitioners use dry needling daily for the treatment of muscular pain and dysfunction.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China over 5000 years ago.  Acupuncture works on the belief that a balanced flow of qi, the vital life energy present in all living organisms, determines your health status. According to acupuncture theory, chi circulates in the body along twelve major pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems.

By inserting very-fine gauge sterile single-use needles at specific points along the meridians, your acupuncturist can redirect and reposition the flow of energy (qi) to relieve tension, stress, and pain. The uninterrupted and balanced flow of energy along these meridians contributes to one's overall health.  However, blockages and imbalances result in pain and illness.

What Conditions Could Acupuncture Help?

In Western Medicine, acupuncture is mainly used as a pain relief treatment option. Acupuncture may provide short-term pain relief and is commonly used in combination with other treatment options such as exercise.

Research evidence supporting acupuncture as a treatment modality is variable with most researchers noting that additional research needs to be undertaken to fully understand and support the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture. (See References below for more information)

Acupuncture may be considered by your healthcare professional after their thorough assessment in the following conditions:

For specific advice regarding your pain or health condition, please consult with your trusted healthcare practitioner. They will be able to discuss the appropriateness of acupuncture based on your clinical assessment.

Do Acupuncture Needles Hurt?

No. The insertion of acupuncture needles should be painless. You may feel a slight tingling or heaviness after they are inserted. This is a very common effect that will be monitored by your practitioner during the consultation. At PhysioWorks, we only use single-use, individually wrapped and sterilised needles that we discard immediately after use.

Children and Acupuncture

Parents and guardian permission is required for children under the age of 18. Older children are usually comfortable with acupuncture. However, for small children or patients who fear needles, needle acupuncture is not recommended.

How Much Acupuncture Treatment Will You Need?

The response to acupuncture treatment varies from person to person. Obviously, your treatment schedule will vary depending on your condition. Your healthcare practitioner will discuss your treatment plan during your consultation based on your clinical assessment.

Private Health Fund Rebates

Most private health funds offer rebates on acupuncture or dry needling treatments as a component of your physiotherapy or acupuncture consultation.

Acupuncture References

Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CCL, Liu JP, Shang J, Scott SW, Littlejohn G. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD007070. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007070.pub2

Furlan AD, van Tulder MW, Cherkin D, Tsukayama H, Lao L, Koes BW, Berman BM. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001351. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2

Green S, Buchbinder R, Barnsley L, Hall S, White M, Smidt N, Assendelft WJJ. Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2002, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003527. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003527

Green S, Buchbinder R, Hetrick SE. Acupuncture for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005319. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005319

Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin B, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007587. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2

Manheimer E, Cheng K, Linde K, Lao L, Yoo J, Wieland S, van der Windt DAWM, Berman BM, Bouter LM. Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001977. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001977.pub2.

Ning, Z. and Lao, L. (2015). Acupuncture for Pain Management in Evidence-based Medicine. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 8(5), pp.270-273.

Villarreal Santiago, M., Tumilty, S., Mącznik, A. and Mani, R. (2016). Does Acupuncture Alter Pain-related Functional Connectivity of the Central Nervous System? A Systematic Review. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 9(4), pp.167-177.

Acupressure


Acupressure is a massage pressure technique that works upon acupuncture points. Rather than fine needles, finger pressure exerted at specific points along the meridians aim to stimulate, disperse and balance the flow of energy, relieve pain, and treat a variety of chronic, acute and degenerative conditions.Our PhysioWorks physiotherapists and remedial massage therapists are acupressure trained. Please ask them if you would like acupressure incorporated into your treatment.

What is a Trigger Point?

Dr's Travell and Simons defined a myofascial trigger point as a hyperirritable spot in a skeletal muscle. A trigger point is usually painful on compression and may give rise to characteristic referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction and autonomic phenomena. Myofascial trigger points occur in both acute and chronic pain conditions. Hendler and Kozikowski suggest that myofascial trigger points as the most commonly missed diagnosis in chronic pain patients.

Why Do Trigger Points Cause Pain?

According to Dr Gunn, 'Shortening in muscles acting across a joint increase joint pressure, upsets alignment, and can precipitate pain in the joint, i.e. arthralgia.' There is also a theory that permanent muscle contraction is abnormal and can create an ischaemic muscle pain due to the restriction decreasing normal muscle blood flow.

How are your Trigger Points Treated?

It is possible to deactivate triggers points by various methods such as acupressure, dry needling, muscle stretching, trigger point massage devices or injecting them with a large number of varying substances, including saline (saltwater) placebo.

Trigger Point Massage/Acupressure

Trigger Point Therapy is a form of Remedial Massage Therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specified points on tender muscle tissue to bring about a reduction in muscle tension and pain relief.Trigger point therapy is for almost everyone. Muscles with active trigger points are always weaker than healthy muscles and unable to move through their full range of motion. Often because they are unable to perform their normal function, you recruit alternative muscles to perform the activity of the compromised muscle. These secondary muscles can go on to develop trigger points themselves if you don't treat the original hypertonic muscle.

Dry Needling

Dry needling may assist with decreasing local muscular pain and improving function through the restoration of your muscle's ability to elongate and shorten. When your therapist inserts a fine filament needle into the centre of a myofascial trigger point, blood pools around the needle triggering the contracted muscle fibres to relax by providing those fibres with fresh oxygen and nutrients, as well as by flushing away any additional acidic chemicals. This reaction leads to the decompression of the local blood and nerve supply.

How Does Dry Needling Work?

The needle sites can be at the epicentre of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a healthy muscle is painless. But, a shortened, supersensitive muscle may 'grasp' the needle or trigger the muscle.Dry needling of the 'shortened' muscle band causes an immediate, palpable relaxation. The patient often experiences a sense of release and increased range of motion. When used in conjunction with motor control retraining and postural and movement behaviour retraining, the trigger point release obtained from dry needling can be long-lasting. The result is a stimulation of the stretch receptor within the muscle (muscle spindle), producing a reflex relaxation or lengthening response.

Dry Needling vs Trigger Point Injections

Researchers have studied trigger point injections using placebo saline and drug therapy. They have concluded that the only consistent factor is that the pain relief is from the stimulation of the needle used for the injection itself, rather than the drug or saline solution used. While the jury is probably still out on the effect of trigger point injections, it is perhaps fair to suggest that the mechanical needle stimulation of the trigger point without the use of a drug  (dry needling) does have a positive effect upon hyperstimulated trigger points. If you are interested in dry needling, most of our PhysioWorks Physiotherapists are dry needle trained.Trigger Point Massage Tools

Acupuncture may be an effective short-term treatment for pain. Acupuncture may be considered by your healthcare professional in the following conditions:

For specific advice regarding your pain or health condition, please consult with your trusted healthcare practitioner.

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