Dry-needling is a fairly new treatment for people who suffer from the symptoms of heel spur and tendon inflammation. The treatment is based on the treatment of so-called trigger points (painful points in the muscles). These cause so-called myofascial pain. The trigger points can be treated with trigger point massage, but also with dry-needling. Other names are trigger point acupuncture, myofascial treatment or intramuscular stimulation (IMS). Dry-needling is used by real specialists as well as physiotherapists who use this technique as part of the treatment, in addition to other techniques such as stretching exercises. There are also acupuncturists who use this technique.
How does dry-needling work?
With this treatment, needles are placed that tackle the trigger point and make it disappear. First the trigger points (also called ah-shi points) are already massaged. In the case of heel track, these trigger points will mainly be in the calf and lower legs, and sometimes also in the sole of the foot.
Despite the need to work with needles, the dry-needling treatment of heel spurs has a more relationship with physiotherapy and trigger point massage than classical acupuncture. Acupuncture really works according to other principles, the needles are inserted along so-called energy channels, and they remain sitting for 15-30 minutes throughout the treatment, and only the insertion of the needles will be somewhat unpleasant. The trigger points are really in other places.
In dry needling, the needles are first inserted, and then the practitioner will move the needle slightly, until after a few seconds a reaction occurs in the muscle. This feels like a small cramp. This reaction can feel painful. Some patients hardly feel pain, but in others this can be very painful. The treated muscle can also feel quite stiff and painful after the treatment for 1 to 3 days.
Generally, after 3-5 treatments it can be determined whether the treatment of the heel track is successful. Then it is decided whether or not to proceed is useful. Dry needling has become a popular measure in recent years and many people seem to benefit from it.
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