What is Dry Needling

Often I have heard Bureta Physiotherapy been explained as the clinic that Dry Needles, and while this is true – this clinic does dry needle, and is the clinical leaders in this in the bay, it is important to note that this is unique adjunct to your treatment that you may be offered for treatment. This is all aimed at delivering clinical edge treatment helping getting you better faster.

Bureta Physiotherapist Olivia Meehan ( Post grad cert in Acupuncture) explains

Acupuncture and more commonly, dry needling can be powerful adjuncts to physiotherapy treatment. Most of our physiotherapists here at Bureta Physiotherapy are trained in needling therapy, and use it when appropriate to provide pain relief and assist in injury rehabilitation. But what is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling, and how do these therapies work??

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years by a multitude of cultures, but most predominantly the Chinese. Based on meridians, traditional Chinese acupuncture aims to correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels, by the application and stimulation of needles. This method of acupuncture is not based on scientific knowledge or evidence, but can still be effective for certain conditions. Here at Bureta, some of our physiotherapists do practice traditional Chinese acupuncture for certain conditions, but it is typically not the ‘go-to’ for musculoskeletal issues.

Dry needling is the ‘new kid on the block’ in the scheme of needling therapy, and is based on Western biomedical principles. Dry needling uses the same fine, sterile, single-use needles used in acupuncture, but rather than inserting these needles into acupuncture points, they are inserted into ‘trigger points’ or hyper-irritated muscle tissue. Trigger points are made up of multiple contracted muscle fibers which, due to their neural circuitry, can be responsible for production and maintenance of pain cycles. Active trigger points can refer pain to other areas of your body, and are often felt as a constant ache. Not only are these trigger points painful, but they can and will affect how your joints function, and cause general muscle balance issues. Once the needle has been inserted into the trigger point, your therapist will manipulate the needle to stimulate a local twitch reflex, which is an involuntary spinal reflex causing the muscle fibers to contract, then relax. It is this twitch reflex which helps to resolve the trigger point. Dry needling can cause some pain and weakness during and after the process, but improvements in your symptoms are often immediate and can include increased range of motion, a reduction in pain, and improvement in muscle contractility.

Other western-based theories regarding how acupuncture and dry needling therapies work include:

· Micro-trauma caused by needle insertion causes a local healing response and increase in bloodflow in dysfunctional tissues

· Stimulation of neural pathways by needle insertion to block pain by disrupting the pain signal being sent to the brain.

· Release of opioids and neurochemicals such as endorphins both locally at the site of needle insertion, and at brain and spinal cord levels, causes a reduction in the transmission of pain signalling.

Although dry needling can be hugely effective for muscle release and pain relief, remember it is only one part of treatment, and your physiotherapist at Bureta Physiotherapy will also address biomechanical issues, muscle balance, postural dysfunctions and muscle strength to combat the cause of your injury and pain. Other treatment alongside needling may include: joint mobilisation and other hands-on therapy techniques, but most importantly exercise rehabilitation to restore and maintain optimal function. This multi-dimensional approach is essential for a successful recovery.

Running Injuries: Can I train through?

Authored by Donna Withers – Physiotherapist @ Bureta

This is a common question we get asked. As a runner it is always our goal to be running one hundred percent pain free. Unfortunately in reality this is often not the case as many runners are constantly dealing with a niggle whether it be a slight pain in the knee to a tight calf or a niggling hamstring. These small niggles and aches often don’t bother us enough to need to take time out from running but do stop training from being enjoyable.

There are a wide range of running injuries that are common complaints amongst the running population. These range from severe injuries which require a lot of time off to mild aches that can come and go. You can reduce the risk of needing to take too much time off with how you go about managing your injury. Taking the time to seek treatment and getting a treatment plan that focuses on the causative and underlying factors and developing a long term management plan for prevention which often includes strengthening, stretching and regular maintenance through the use of a roller and massage can significantly reduce time off.

An example of a very common running injury is Patellofemoral Syndrome also known as “runners knee” this is the irritation of the cartilage on the underside of your knee cap. This is commonly seen in runners who don’t have good biomechanics with loading/running. This can be caused by a number of factors i.e. weakness of the quads, gluts, hips or poor foot control/overpronation (rolling in). By focusing on the correct strength exercises which improve biomechanics and therefore reduce the loading of your knee training can be continued by reducing intensity and cross training.

Prevention is always the key whether you have an injury or you are just looking to avoid one your physiotherapist at Bureta can assess your biomechanics and work with you to develop a management plan to keep you out on the track. See our previous blog on some tips for running injury prevention. Remember the best injury cure is injury prevention – happy running!!

7 tips for getting fit


Made a promise to yourself to get fit this New year? If you did, you’re not alone. Many of our patients make this same promise to themselves however find it hard to get motivated once the summer months are over. The physiotherapists in this practice can help.

We can recommend exercises that are designed specifically for you to achieve your desired level of fitness. The more you repeat and become aware of an activity, the easier it becomes. Our practice looks at types of exercises/activities, specific workloads, durations of activities/sessions and intensity guidelines and can devise a plan to help you achieve your target fitness level.

To help we have seven tips to help you become motivated and fit.

Tip 1 Start slow

If you’ve been inactive for some time it’s important to start slowly and gradually build up. Begin with low impact activities such as walking, swimming or using an exercise bike. We can help suggest an appropriate level to start at based on your current fitness.

Tip 2 Know yourself

Talk to us about your medical history or any problematic areas which may affect your choice of activity. We can help make exercise safer.

Tip 3 Warm up

Remembers to warm up, warm down and stretch before and after gentle activity to minimise muscle soreness. If you’re not sure – we can show you some warm up techniques.

Tip 4 Come prepared

Make sure you have appropriate footwear for your activity and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Tip 5 Venues

Gyms are great places to get active but you must ensure that you are well supervised. Not a gym person – then try something else – go bushwalking or go for a bike ride! Even simply take the stairs, walk to the train station or local shops! Better still see us for regular assessment and instruction.

Tip 6 Record your progress

Keep a diary or log of your progress – it will serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come and give you encouragement if you’re felling disheartened. Reward yourself with something healthy when you achieve mini goals.

Tip 7 Workout with someone