Dry Needling Is Emerging As An Alternative To
Opioids: Style Magazine Newswire 12/12/2019
Maybe a sports injury is the problem. Maybe arthritis or some other health condition is the culprit. Regardless of the cause, nearly 20 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, worrying every day about flare-ups that interfere with their enjoyment of life. While many people turn to painkillers as their first line of defence, others are finding relief in opioid-free methods, such as dry needling.
“Many people view their pain as being a bad thing in itself, but actually it is nature’s warning system, meant to protect us” says Nicky Snazell, a physiotherapist and author of ‘The 4 Keys To Health’ and other books. “We need to heed that warning and address the real cause of the problem, not just look for ways to mask the symptoms.”
While Snazell says painkillers have their place, she prefers an integrative approach to combating pain, combining the most potent aspects of medicine with complementary therapies. Dry needling is one of the methods she’s a proponent of and regularly practices.
For those unfamiliar, here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes dry needling: A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
Snazell practices what is known as the GunnlMS method, which also uses dry needling to treat neuropathic pain.
Some professional athletes, such as NBA star Anthony Davis, have turned to dry needling to help them overcome troublesome conditions such as back spasms.
Research indicates that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalises dysfunction of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. This can help speed up the patients return to active rehabilitation.
“Dry needling is used as part of wider physiotherapy treatment and succeeds where other treatments fail”, says Snazell, who for over three decades has performed dry needling with success on thousands of patients in the UK.
A few points the American Physical Therapy Association says patients should know about dry needling include:
- The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of muscle. Other terms commonly used
to describe dry needling include trigger point dry needling and intramuscular manual therapy.
- Although there are similarities, dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is based on modern Western-based medicine principles and supported by research. (There has been controversy in this area though,
with acupuncturists in some states trying to block physical therapists from using the procedure, saying they are infringing on the acupuncturists’ turf}.
- Physical therapists who perform dry needling obtain specific postgraduate education and training. When contacting a physical therapist for dry needling treatment, the association says, ask about their specific experience and education.
Beyond dry needling, medication, and other pain relief therapies, Snazell says those battling pain can also ease some of their sufferings through lifestyle changes.
“We need to realise that many causes of pain are self-inflicted and can be easily avoided,” she says. “Find ways to lower your stress level. Change your diet to avoid such things as processed foods and excess sugar. Exercise regularly. All of these activities can play a role in helping you to reduce your pain and get more enjoyment out of life.”
Author, teacher and Harley Street Physiotherapist Nicky Snazell on AACP training.
The clinic sends the team on AACP foundation and training days, which they find very beneficial. All four of the established physiotherapy team are AACP members and a new member is about to begin her AACP foundation course. Nicky encourages her staff to maintain AACP membership, as she “feels so much support from an organisation that has my back and that of my colleagues”. Nicky also encourages her team to gain valuable CPD via attendance of the AACP conference and courses, which are guaranteed to include evidence-based medical acupuncture.
Nicky still treats patients four or five days a week, using her own approach, which includes skills learnt with the AACP. She is also writing her sixth book specifically for therapists and is offering in house advanced needling skills internships.
She can sometimes be found offering guest lectures at AACP events.
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The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a keen desire to work hands-on, be a strong team player and show an ability to think outside the box. The clinic places equal importance on prevention as well as acute injury treatment. Our preventative, wellness program makes use of an in house developed and published health model.
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The Practical Application of Nicky Snazell’s Advanced Needling Skills
Nicky Snazell is one of the worlds leading GunnIMS dry needling practitioners, having reached the highest training level and awarded a fellowship of ISTOP. She has treated thousands of patients over nearly 30 years, taught IMS and presented on pain and health internationally, and written 5 books on pain and health. Nicky is a recognised authority who attracts patients from all corners of the globe.
This internship will take you from previous theory and practical courses in which you were taught WHERE to put needles, to the essential and more important step of WHY and HOW.
Internships will involve one on one with Nicky Snazell, observing while she treats complex neuro-musculoskeletal cases.
She will elaborate on:
- How you diagnose with a needle
- The difference between Eastern-based acupuncture and GunnIMS dry needling
- Physiological theories and anatomical placement of needles
- Provide an initial understanding of the WHY of treating and HOW to mix with Eastern practice.
Nicky will also provide an understanding of how her 4 Keys approach gives a baseline to both assessing the patients healing time, plus the overall health of their immune system. This will guide the most appropriate type and intensity of treatment. In other words, the dosage.
Previous experience required:
- Foundation BMAS or AACP course
- Minimum of 3 years acupuncture practice
- Chartered Physiotherapist or
- Medic with post-graduate training in MSK and acupuncture
Internship days will start at 9:30 am and finish at 3:30 pm, with a 30-minute lunch break (please bring your own lunch), and will be held at Nicky Snazell’s Clinic near Stafford.
Internship cost £250 per day
For more information, please call Nicky Snazell’s Wellness & Physiotherapy Clinic on 01889 881488.
The clinic is in central England and has rapid access to most of the country, with an excellent motorway network nearby. Stafford is only 1hr 15min by train from London.
Most people have heard of acupuncture and understandably assume that if a treatment involves a needle, it must be acupuncture. This is akin to saying that everybody who uses a knife must be a surgeon. Our task is thus to look in depth at all the ways that needles are used so that you have a better understanding of what the differences are and thus can eliminate the confusion surrounding this type of treatment. By doing so, it will also hopefully help you gain confidence to try this form of treatment in the future and help you seek out the best type of practitioner for your problem
Historically, the use of the needle for treatment started in the east, most probably in China, many thousands of years ago. Thus, there have been thousands of years to refine and improve the understanding of acupuncture in Chinese Medicine, the latter being a complete medical system which looks at the whole body. It regards illness as the body being out of balance and thus seeks to identify why it is out of balance and then treats to redress this.
Discovered by the west just 200 years ago!
Acupuncture was only discovered in the west relatively recently, the last 200 years or so, and slowly but surely became more understood and used. Chinese Acupuncture is based on treating the flow of energy around the body and needles are generally inserted to a precise depth into the fascia in which the energy flows. Interestingly, our western technology now supports this theory (see page 5). The Chinese also understood that some areas of the body were locally painful and would needle these independently, calling them ‘Ah Shi’ points, translating as ‘that’s it’ points.
Back pain is the most common cause of disability, so how do you get back pain relief?
In this page, we look at back pain relief and how this effects you. We also discuss the best solutions and make recommendations for those who are suffering. There is also a case study example of how this can help you and what the takeaways are.
All I want for Xmas is a new back & back pain relief
Are you a back pain sufferer? Do you want to recover naturally and quickly from chronic spinal pain? Be able to sit, stand, walk and play without the nagging fear of pain? Do you also want to avoid any side effects of long-term painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs?
The spinal column protects our spinal brain and our wiring system, the nerves. Need I say more as to how important that is? Unyet, back pain remains one of the leading causes of disability, with the main culprit being Mr. Disc. This innocent looking cushion is filled with a sturdy jelly-like substance in a whirl not whip configuration of protective fibrous bands.
Better posture helps with back pain relief
Worn out discs are made worse by our old friend poor posture. Poor posture compresses not only the discs, but also small muscles, and nerves and capillaries, slowing up the supply of nutrition and oxygen to the spine. Worn discs are unable to protect the little spinal facet joints, and inflammatory osteoarthritis moves in. Arthritic facet joints are painful in their own right in 30 % of back pain and need strong muscles to support them.
If you have worn discs look to your muscles. Weakened back, stomach and butt muscles along with tight hamstrings all squash discs. Improving your fitness with back specific strengthening and stretching exercises will help to lessen the degeneration of your spinal joints. That’s why father Xmas will be limbering up before attempting those chimneys.
Detecting a slipped disk
How do I know it could be a disc I hear you say? Well, let’s self-diagnosed, it may be a disc problem if slumping in a chair makes it worse, or pulling knees to chest on your back, or picking stuff off the floor, or putting on shoes. Moreover, walking and leaning back relieves the pain.
If you are finding it harder getting out of bed, putting your shoes on, or sitting for periods of time, you need to look after your back. The magical thing about backs is that ageing does not have to be a pain, backs respond quickly to expert treatment and a self-help guide to lifestyle change.
Let me tell you about lady who came to me a month ago, I will call her Jo. Jo struggled to walk up the pathway to my clinic and sat with tears in her eyes looking as if someone had given her a death sentence. Jo had been told the same old story, “you have wear and tear in your spine, it will only get worse, learn to live with it. We will send you for some hands-off, exercise physiotherapy; you will need to wait a few weeks or months, as you are not deemed urgent. We may consider a surgical opinion, and take these painkillers and anti-depressants for the foreseeable future.”
Those words said in all innocence wiped out this ladies future, how could she care for her garden and house, and look after, play and hold her grandchildren?
You will be pleased to know Jo responded quickly to treatment and lifestyle advice and came into my office beaming yesterday, her pain was considerably better, the joint movement was fluid, Jo could stoop down and tend to the house and garden, and did not feel drowsy as she no longer needed her painkillers. That morning she had jogged half a mile with her grandson. She was living proof that with an integrative medical approach and a healthy lifestyle, that she could be fit and pain-free. The good news is that we know with 25 years of experience, that a synergistic approach of therapies, including the use of specialist technology, prevents a lot of the discomfort ageing can bring. I recently presented this in Spain at the z factor, and I strongly believe a long healthy pain free life is the best Xmas present you can receive.
For free info on backs browse my website, or let me know if you wish me to give a talk, together let’s get over this epidemic of back pain. Xmas treatment gift vouchers available. www.painreliefclinic.co.uk. FB,twitter. 01889881488
Spinal Disk Bulge Physiotherapy For A Spinal Disc Rupture
Can a disc slip? The simple answer is no. It’s a layman’s term that is unfortunately very misleading to the general public.“My disc has slipped out, can you put it back in” is not an uncommon conversation opener on the telephone. Of course, it’s quite difficult then to get the caller to understand that this can’t actually happen, which is why Spinal Disk Bulge Physiotherapy is key to recovery.
Let’s look at the spine’s anatomy and in particular the role of the disc.
The spine is made up of 7 cervical (neck) bones called vertebrae, 12 thoracics (middle) vertebrae and 5 lumbar (lower) vertebrae. The top 2 vertebrae in the neck are a little bit different, so putting those to one side, between each pair of the remaining vertebrae there is a disc, the purpose of which is to provide shock absorption and allow movement. The disc itself is attached strongly to the vertebrae and cannot slip out.
A disc is made up of a tough fibrous structure on the outside, layered in exactly the same way we make cross-ply tyres. On the inside, there is a soft, crab paste like moist material. As we age this tends to dry out. There are also end plates in contact with the vertebrae. The spinal disc is 70% to 90% water, so making sure you are well hydrated is very important to disc health.
There are two major types of damage to these discs. The first is when the disc is overloaded sufficiently to cause a protrusion, or bulge in the outer wall, as in the diagram above. This is similar to what you see on the side of a car tyre when it has hit a curb. Sometimes this is referred to as a slipped disc. It’s not possible to just push the bulge back in, but specific exercises can help to relocate this and over time the disc may heal itself.
The second and more serious damage is when the overload has been sufficient to rupture the outer fibrous structure and force the inner material to squeeze out. This is called a herniated or ruptured disc.
What Are The Implications Of A Disc Bulge Or Herniated Disc?
A disc bulge will cause pain if it is central and compresses the central spinal column, or if it bulges to one side into the exiting nerves. In either case, if the compression is significant enough, it will cause pain and/or numbness and weakness and possibly loss of control in the limbs.
If the disc bulge is central it could cause problems down both sides of the body. If the bulge is on one side, it will only cause problems on that side.
If the disc has been ruptured or herniated, the same problems with compression of the central spinal column and exiting nerves can occur. In addition, if chemicals from the inside of the disc come into contact with the nerves, it can cause severe pain even without any compression of the nerves. In such cases, a course of anti-inflammatories will most likely be prescribed.
Can Spinal Disk Bulge Physiotherapy Treat A Disc Bulge or Herniated Disc?
In many cases, a bulging disc and a herniated disc will over time heal itself. The time required may depend on the severity of the problem and may take from weeks to months to resolve. Physiotherapy treatment can help reduce the pain much more quickly. The key is to get an accurate diagnosis through a physiotherapy assessment, possibly needing an X-ray or MRI. Treatment can include specific exercises to help reduce the disk bulge, Gunn IMS dry needling, electroacupuncture, laser, shockwave, core stability rehab and postural rehab. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
If you have suffered a recent back injury or had a long-term problem then it’s advisable to get your condition assessed and treated. We have extensive skills in treating spinal pain and clients travel from all over the UK and abroad to seek our help.
Call 01889 881488 now.
Physiotherapy Treatment For Vertigo Caused By BPPV
Vertigo is a problem that affects around half the population at some point in their lives and is more common as we get older. Fortunately, the symptoms usually only last for a few seconds to a minute or so, but the symptoms are very unpleasant including:
• Nausea and vomiting
• A sense of rotating
• Inability to stand or walk
What Causes Vertigo
It is widely accepted as the most common cause of vertigo is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) and this is linked to the 3 semi-circular canals in the inner ear. The role of these canals is to sense the position of the head in the 3 axes of up /down, right / left, forward/ backwards. If any incorrect signals occur, the brain doesn’t know where your head is and gets confused.
Faulty signals are caused by very small chalk crystals becoming loose and getting into the semi-circular canals. These loose crystals then move in the canals, stimulating faulty signals.
The types of movement which most frequently initiate a vertigo attack are rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, sitting up after lying flat or looking up or down.
Left untreated, vertigo will usually resolve itself but may take several months. Fortunately, treatment is fairly simple and painless and typically no more than 3 specialised Physiotherapy treatments are needed over a couple of weeks.
David Paling, a senior physiotherapist and our clinical lead can diagnose and treat BPPV.
If you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo, then physiotherapy treatment with us should seriously be considered.
Call the clinic now on 01889 881488 and ask for an assessment with David.
Rotator Cuff Physiotherapy
Many have heard of the rotator cuff in the shoulder and, not surprisingly, believe it to be a single part of the shoulder. The rotator cuff is, in fact, a group of four muscles that work together to provide dynamic stability of the shoulder joint, helping to control the joint during rotation:
- Teres Minor
The Supraspinatus is a small muscle which you can feel above the bony ridge on the back of your shoulder blade (scapula). It attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus), just below the shoulder joint. The task of this muscle is to move the arm sideways away from the body for the first 15 degrees. After that other muscles take over most of the load, it is an area of the should that can be torn and is popular for ‘Rotator Cuff Physiotherapy’
The Infraspinatus is a thick triangular muscle, which occupies the main part of the sculptured dent in the back of the shoulder blade, below the bony ridge. As one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff, the main function of the infraspinatus is to turn the arm out as in the backhand in tennis and stabilise the shoulder joint.
The Subscapularis is a large triangular muscle at the front of the shoulder blade, between the shoulder blade and the rib cage. It attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus) and into the front of the shoulder capsule. Its role is to turn the arm in.
The Teres Minor muscle sits below the Infraspinatus. It is quite a small rounded muscle and its primary task is to stop the arm moving up when it is moved out sideways (abducted). It also helps the Infraspinatus turn the arm out.
TREATMENTS FOR ROTATOR CUFF TENDINITIS
Rotator cuff tendinitis describes the inflammatory response of one or more of the four rotator cuff tendons, due to impingement or overuse, and leading to more and more micro-trauma that can then lead to a tendon rupture and will require Rotator Cuff Physiotherapy.
The inflamed thickening of the tendons often causes the rotator cuff tendons to become trapped under the acromion (the bony projection of the shoulder blade over the shoulder joint) – like a carpet stuck under a door – causing sub-acromial impingement. Failure to heal then leads to further damage. Early treatment of tendinitis, therefore, is necessary in order to prevent the development of more chronic and serious conditions.
Treatment can include: first and foremost scapula re-education exercises, postural exercises to lessen the impingement, gentle shoulder mobilisations and massage, aided by local electrotherapies, such as laser, pulsed shortwave, shockwave and deep oscillation. Specific rehab exercises can help guide you back to full fitness.
Healthcare Lottery NHS UK
Many of you will have heard this term before, which related to the enormous differences in NHS service provision across the country. This led to the creation of NICE, a body which was responsible for authorising treatments, which were then supposedly going to offered countrywide.
A recent study by Which, however, has uncovered that those with the most complex medical needs still face a postcode lottery when it comes to recouping their full care costs. In fact, the report showed huge differences, an example being that Salford funded 25 times as many patients as South Reading. Despite a national framework being set up six years ago in 2012, the best and worst areas have not changed.
Also concerning is that despite the guidelines being that decisions on funding should be made within 28 days, some areas are meeting that target in only 2% of cases.
The situation is likely to get a lot with a predicted 45% growth in demand and yet a targeted cost efficiency saving of £855million.
The key message all of us need to take from this is that we should do everything we can to protect our own health, and the earlier the better. Investment now could make a massive difference to your quality of life in later years. The alternative really is leaving it to a flip of a coin.
For more information on this report see www.which.co.uk.