Originally, we only used the Schroth method to treat our patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. However, over time we realised that there are some disadvantages to only using one method for treating patients, and that there are elements of postural correction that Schroth is unable to address. We still use the Schroth method as a central part of our treatment courses, but we've assisted and complimented it with a range of other well-established non-surgical techniques from around the world to ensure that all aspects of each patient's condition can be fully treated. The end result is what we call the ScolioGold method.
By using a unique combination of treatment methods, we are able to offer an unparalleled level of treatment success. We're always looking to develop this method, and we have recently been in the process of incorporating some new techniques into the ScolioGold programme.
This new technique is called dry needling, and today we're going to give a brief description of what this treatment method actually entails.
What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a relatively new technique with roots in Western medicine. It was devised by two doctors (Janet Travell and David Simons) in the 1940s when they put a theory of theirs into practice and inserted injections into hyper-irritable points in the muscle in order to reduce sensitivity and relieve pain. Following that, Dr Kavel Lewit concluded in 1979 that this pain relief was primarily caused by the needle itself and actually had nothing to do with the medication being injected at the site of the pain. Since then, dry needling has been used as an effective means of treating knots (also known as trigger points) in the muscles of the human body.
A 'knot' in the muscle can be caused by numerous different factors, such as overuse, poor muscle positioning, or trauma. Knots restrict blood supply to the affected part of the muscle, which means that there is a decreased supply of oxygen as well as an increase in metabolic waste and toxins in that area. This causes abnormal function of the muscle which ultimately results in pain, discomfort, and/or stress on the surrounding area.
How does dry needling work?
Dry needling works by inserting a small, dry needle (less than 9/100th of the size of a medical syringe) into the trigger point in the muscle with the aim of eliciting a twitch response. A twitch response causes the muscle to ‘jump’, after which the muscle relaxes. Dry needling is not a treatment modality on its own, but it can be effective as part of a holistic treatment programme; it is therefore essential that you complete your exercises and stretches as advised by your physiotherapist in conjunction with the needling therapy for optimal recovery.
How can dry needling benefit scoliosis sufferers?
When you suffer from scoliosis, the muscles surrounding your spine become imbalanced. This results in some of the muscles being overused while other muscles become smaller and contracted from under-use. In both instances, trigger points are likely to form in these muscles. Dry needling of these muscle groups can be effective in reducing some of the muscle imbalances prior to exercise therapy in order to achieve the best results from treatment.
To find out more about our ScolioGold courses and the exercises involved in our treatment programme, please click here. If you have any questions regarding your condition, or you wish to book an initial consultation, please get in touch with our clinic today.