While some osteopaths exclusively use hands on, or manual therapy techniques with their patients, many osteopaths also use a variety of needling techniques. Some of these techniques include myofascial dry needling, trigger point needling and acupuncture.
Needling in osteopathic practice refers to the insertion of a solid needle into a site or multiple sites on the body for a therapeutic purpose.
Needling practices are undertaken by a wide range of health professionals including osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, medical practitioners and others. Caitlin has trained in Myofascial Dry Needling and obtained qualifications for practicing this form of treatment.
Assessment and Treatment
Patients who receive needling during a treatment from an osteopath can expect:
- A physical assessment and health history to be taken
- Formulation of a diagnosis and discussion of a proposed treatment plan
- To receive advice and information about alternative treatment options available, ifcontraindications to needling have been identified through a physical assessment
- Advice and information on the risks and benefits of needling before treatment is commenced. The osteopath will explain any specific risks and benefits associated with needling particular sites on your body
- The osteopath to discuss your understanding of the benefits and risks of the proposed treatment and your willingness to proceed. You can remove yourconsent at any time, even during treatment by letting the osteopath know
- To be informed of other treatments that may assist in combination with needling
- Compliance with infection control standards (including skin preparation and sterilisation if required; single use needles; safe handling and safe disposal of any used needles)
- Information about what to expect after treatment and any symptoms or circumstances where you should contact the osteopath.
Patients who obtain needling from an osteopath may experience:
- Reduced muscle pain and reduced muscular tension [i] [ii] [iii] [iv]
- Improved ease of movement [v]
- Improved blood circulation in sites on the body treated with needling [vi] [vii] [viii]
Training of osteopaths using needling techniques
All osteopaths who perform needling should have completed specific education and training in the techniques they propose to use on your body. You are within your rights to ask what qualifications or training has been completed.
Osteopaths should only practice needling techniques if they have suitable, current professional indemnity insurance cover to perform needling techniques.
Some osteopaths perform Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture or other forms of acupuncture. An osteopath who is also an acupuncturist must be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia or have received an endorsement of their acupuncture skillset from an alternative national Board, such as the Osteopathy Board of Australia. Claiming to be an acupuncturist without being on the register is unlawful.
Registered acupuncturists can be found here: http://www.chinesemedicineboard.gov.au/
- [i] Ernst, E., White, A., ‘Acupuncture for Back Pain, a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials’, Internal Medicine , vol. 158 no. 20, 1998, pages 2235-2241
- [ii] Furlan, A., Van Tulder, M., Cherkin. D, Tsukayama, H., Lao, L., Koes, B., Berman, B., ‘Acupuncture and Dry-Needling for Low Back Pain: An updated systematic review within the framework of thecochrane collaboration’, Spine , vol. 15 issue.8, 2005, pages 944-963
- [iii] Kalichman, L., Vulfsons, S., ‘Dry Needling in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain’, Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine , vol. 25 no.5, 2010, pages 640-646
- [iv] Rickards, L. D, ‘Therapeutic needling in osteopathic practice: an evidence informed perspective’, International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine , vol. 12, issue. 1, 2009, pages 2-13
- [v] Gonzalez-Perez, L., Infante- Cossio, P., Granados- Nunez , M., Urresti-Lopez, F., ‘Treatment of temporomandibular myofascial pain with deep dry needling’, Medicina Oral Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal , vol. 17, issue. 5, 2012, pages 781-785
- [vi] Cagnie, B., Barbe, T., De Ridder, E., Van Oosterwijck, J., Cools, A., Danneels, L., ‘The Influence of Dry Needling of the Trapezius Muscle on Muscle Blood Flow and Oxygenation’, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics , vol. 35 no.9, 2012, pages 685-691
- [vii] Ohkubo, M., Hamaoka, T., Niwayama, M., Murase, N., Osada, T., Kime, R., Kurosawa, Y., Sakamoto, A., Katsumura, T., ‘Local increase in trapezius muscle oxygenation during and after acupuncture’, Dynamic Medicine , vol. 8 issue. 2, 2009, pages 1-8
- [viii] Sandberg, M., Lundeberg, T., Lindberg, L., Gerdle, B., ‘Effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow in healthy subjects’, European Journal of Applied Physiology , vol. 90 issue. 1, 2003, pages 114-119.