It is incredible how quickly the New Year comes around. It seriously felt like Easter was only yesterday! With everything already looking pretty bust on the calendar, be sure to take some time to reflect on the past year and think about what you might want to achieve in the year to come. New Year’s resolutions may seem a little cliché, but not only is it a great excuse to take a little time out from the hustle and bustle of this crazy time of year and put some plans in place, it is also a good time to look back on the year that was and set some personal goals that you really want to reach.
Your physiotherapist may suggest dry needling as a technique to help in your treatment. There are several benefits that may make it a good choice of treatment for you.
Simply inserting the needle has positive effects:
- It stimulates local endorphin release and increased blood flow to the area. These local effects can cause pain relief for up to 3 days.
- It can also stimulate an inflammatory response to kick start a healing process that has gone stagnant
- It can activate another type of pain control – the pain gating mechanism that continues relief up to 8 hrs following treatment
- It can have immune effects; causing an increase in white blood cells and other cells that help clear debris in an injured/dysfunctional area
Needling also works on spots called trigger points. These areas are hypersensitive and feel like a knot or band in your muscle. A trigger point affects muscle range, power, recruitment and may produce local or referred pain. Muscles that contain trigger points often tire quickly and take longer to recover and relax. They also have a loss of coordination with other muscles or movements. How it helps:
- Inhibiting sporadic muscle activity of a trigger point even several hours following treatment
- Stimulating normal calcium re-uptake required for appropriate muscle contraction
- Stimulating healing as well as collagen and protein formation
- Producing immediate changes to muscle length and motor control
What it should feel like: dull, achy, dragging, bruised, grabby, warm.
What it shouldn’t feel like: stingy, sharp, pins and needles.
Needling is done with a sterile, disposable needle. Needles will be inserted into the skin and may be manually stimulated to induce a better response. Following treatment, it is normal to feel a bit achy and/or tired for 24-48 hours. Some other side effects that are not as common exist, so it is best to discuss this with your physiotherapist.
Is it Acupuncture?
Dry needling is often used interchangeably with the word acupuncture. Although both techniques use the same fine needles there are differences in duration and rational for treatment;
- Acupuncture is based on eastern medicine of treating meridians or energy lines. Needles in acupuncture remain in situ for longer periods of time
- Needling targets trigger points in muscles and stay in for shorter periods or several minutes
If it sounds like Dry Needling is a good treatment option for you, talk to your Physiotherapist!
The silly season is well and truly underway and your social calendar will no doubt be filling up quicker than you realise. This time of year seems to be the time where people burn themselves out by trying to fit way too much into each day, and instead of it being an enjoyable and peaceful time of year, people are looking forward to it all being over. The team at Barefoot have created a survival guide so you don’t wear yourself out over the Christmas period. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.
- Number one on the list is you. Don’t forget to prioritise you! Yes, this is the time of giving and spending time with family and friends, but that doesn’t mean that you or your health have to suffer. Make sure you stick to your exercise routine, but don’t be afraid to modify your workouts, whether it be the intensity or the time frame, be sure that you’re keeping your body happy. If you’re headed to the beach, keep in mind that a nice walk on the beach can also be considered a work out.
- Warm up! We are all big fans of backyard cricket on Christmas and Boxing Day, but for most of us, this is a once in a year event. Try not to surprise your body too much when you go to hit the ball for six, or by pulling out that old spin bowl you had mastered in high school. Maybe try a few little warm-up exercises before you show everyone your inner Shane Warne. This also goes for lifting heavy esky’s, taking that huge leg of ham out of the oven, or even just doing something your body is not used to. Remember to always think about your positioning, and if needed, ask someone to give you a helping hand.
- Stay hydrated! Over the silly season, people tend to drink a little more alcohol than they normally would throughout the year. This definitely helps with the spirit staying merry, but it is generally quite hot over the Aussie Christmas holiday, so try to keep that H2O close by for you to call on it regularly to help your body survive the break.
- Rest up. Make sure you use some of your down time to take a little
nap and catch up on sleep. The last thing you want to do after having time off is to get back into the swing of things feeling tired, lethargic and needed another break. After a big meal, don’t feel bad about sneaking off for a little nap. That is a pre-requisite on Christmas afternoon, right?!
- Avoid sitting for too long. A lot of the time our Christmas day and accompanying social events are all sitting around the table eating delicious food. Do you best to keep your body happy by standing up every now and then, going and having a lay down on the couch, or just grab your pocket physio or lacrosse ball and do some releases. Your body will thank you for it later.
- Decorate and embrace the Christmas feeling. Make sure you keep the Grinch away and embrace the Christmas carols, and make sure you decorate the house – it always puts a spring in your step. You can never have too many decorations at Christmas.
- Be grateful. Make the most of the time you get to spend with your family and friends during this time. It is them that make Christmas time special, so be sure to take a moment and be grateful for those you hold so close.
The team at Barefoot wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.