There are various schools of thought when it comes to dry needling, and none of them are wrong; some just hurt more than others.
Dry needling is similar to acupuncture, but NOT THE SAME. Acupuncture’s focus is on energy balance and balancing the systems of the body. The needles are strategically placed in meridian points that have been mapped out for thousands of years. Yes, acupuncture works. No, we don’t do it here (but can recommend some great acupuncturists in the area if you’re interested).
Trigger point dry needling focuses on- you guessed it! Trigger points. A needle is placed in a trigger point and, depending on the technique learned, can either be rotated to tighten the fascia surrounding the muscle, left until the point releases & then moved in a star pattern to cause a little extra inflammation, or it can be inserted and moved around immediately in a star pattern until it releases. Both are purely anatomical and work quickly to release trigger points. The former allows multiple needles to be used at the same time and is gentler, but takes longer; the latter is a single-needle technique, takes less time, but hurts more. Sometimes a TENS unit is used with the “leave it alone” technique in order to speed up the release and help relax the muscle.
Neurofunctional dry needling is a technique created & perfected by Dr. Alessandro Elorriaga at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The name is just a fancy way of saying that we’re more concerned with the function of a muscle rather than the trigger points. This type of needling is gentler (no star pattern), and focuses on motor points (where the nerve innervates the muscle), and whether or not a muscle is firing too much or not enough. Two types of electrical stimulation are used: pulsed and continuous, each for a very specific reason. It’s fast-acting and long-lasting. This is the preferred needling technique at Voodoo Chiropractic.
What You Need to Know:
The needles are so thin, you probably won’t feel much as it enters the skin. When it’s in the muscle, you’ll feel pressure or a deep ache. Sometimes a muscle twitches; that’s ok.
It’s weird. Most patients don’t mind the feel of a needle being in them, but the thought of it gets to them. The best thing you can do is relax. If it ends up being “too weird” to handle, that’s ok; we can take them out and try something else.
You may be a little sore afterwards, but it’s more like “workout sore”. You’ll still be able to function, workout, whatever your heart desires.
Dry needling is called that because there’s no blood… usually. Occasionally, there’s a little vessel under the skin that may get hit, and you’ll have a spec of blood (not even enough to need a band-aid) and/or a pea-sized bruise for a few days. Totally normal.
Yes, this is what gave Michael Phelps those weird purple circles during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Traditionally, acupuncturists & alternative medicine practitioners use “fire cupping”, where a flammable substance (alcohol, herbs, paper, etc.) is placed inside glass cups and then set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside-down on the skin. As the air inside cools, it creates a vacuum, which pulls blood up through the different layers of tissue… we don’t do this one. The cupping we use is a more modern take on traditional cupping, and a rubber pump is used with plastic cups (which don’t break when they inevitably fall on the floor) to create suction. We prefer this method, as it’s easier to control the pressure we create… and it’s also less scary looking. We also don’t do wet cupping here; too messy. BUT what makes cupping cool is that it’s the only non-compressive soft tissue technique. Instead of pushing on the tissue, we’re pulling blood and nutrients up through the different layers of tissue.
What You Need to Know:
Cupping can be uncomfortable, and the area being cupped can feel warm, itchy, tingling, tight, etc. This is normal, and just means we’re getting blood to the tissue.
You will probably have circles that look like bruises where we cup. However, unlike a normal bruise, these don’t hurt. The darker the circle, the more stagnant that tissue is; blood flow hasn’t been great there for a while. Think of them like little vampires: the darker it gets, the more it needs blood.
The circles will fade, some within a day or two, others will take 7-10 to completely go away. Don’t worry- they’re a great conversation starter.
A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as manipulation, is to improve motion, thus improving your body's physical function. Chiropractors are mostly known for adjusting the spine, but we’re also able to adjust extremities (shoulders, hips, ankles, etc.).
What You Need to Know:
Each adjustment and the force applied is controlled and specific to each joint, therefore making it a safe procedure.
We aren’t actually moving bones; they’re not “out of place”… joints get fixated (stuck), so we’re just putting motion into them so they move again.
The “pops”, “cracks”, and “clicks” you hear when an adjustment happens is simply air escaping the joint, similar to when you “pop” your knuckles.
Occasionally, especially after your very first adjustment, you may have side effects like a low-grade headache, mild soreness, mild stiffness, etc. These are normal, but feel free to contact us if you have any concerns after your adjustment.
All medical & healthcare procedures are associated with some risk, and adjustments are no different. Your doctor will review these risks with you before any adjustments are delivered.
While adjustments are beneficial, certain techniques are better than others for certain conditions. Also, you may prefer one technique over another. You absolutely have the right to opt out of adjustments or certain techniques that you’re not comfortable with.
CLASS IV LASER
Class IV Therapeutic lasers were approved by the FDA in 2005. They deliver specific red and near infrared wavelengths of light into the body. Different wavelengths are used to treat different tissues & different conditions; these are preset on the machine. Based on the wavelength delivered, this has effects like reduced inflammation, pain reduction, increased circulation, and better tissue healing. As circulation is increased, water, oxygen & nutrients are brought to the injured area. The light also interacts with tissue on a cellular level & increases metabolic activity in the cells. Basically, it speeds up the molecules, generates heat (the laser itself is cold), and speeds up the rate of healing without cutting it short or stopping it.
Graston Technique is the original form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. It uses specially designed stainless steel instruments with unique edges & angles to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions. The tools are effective for breaking up scar tissue and increasing blood flow to the area of concern.
What You Need to Know:
The tools look much scarier than they actually are
When we’re in an area with excess adhesions or scar tissue, you’ll feel (and sometimes hear) “grittiness”. As the tissue becomes healthier, that will lessen.
You’ll get some red dots on the skin where the Graston is done. This is normal, and they go away, usually within a few days (if that). Those are broken capillaries, and it lets us know that we’ve broken up some of those adhesions.