Acupuncture is one of the many skills used within physiotherapy as an integrated approach to the management of pain, inflammation and as a means of enhancing the body's own healing chemicals in order to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation. Acupuncture within physiotherapy is used within the background of clinical and research evidence.
The body has the ability to "self repair" and the use of Acupuncture, Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture enhances the repair mechanism. This enables an improved recovery time, allowing other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation to achieve effective results.
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. This produces 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.
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 unresolving 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.