Dry Needling During Pregnancy
Information for Clinicians and Patients. We often get questions about dry needling during pregnancy. This could be from someone who has recently found out they are pregnant and wants to continue receiving their dry needling treatment during this time. Or perhaps you might be enquiring on behalf of a friend or partner. There are several things that need to be taken into account when considering dry needling during pregnancy.
Firstly, it is well recognised that dry needling during the first trimester is contra-indicated.
Whilst there is no evidence it would necessarily create any harm, this is a period in which there is the highest incidence of pregnancy complications. As the saying goes it is better to be safe than sorry.
There is some evidence that dry needling during the second trimester can be performed safely.
We would typically only perform this technique if someone has had a good response to dry needling in the past and it can be clinically justified. We need to weigh up the benefits vs the risks and this is best done on an individual basis.
In other words, it is generally not recommended to introduce dry needling for the first time during pregnancy. There are many other useful techniques that can assist during this time.
In addition, there are certain regions that are generally best avoided during pregnancy. Some of them due to the fact that based on a Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Model, these points are thought to potentially induce uterine contractions. These include the abdomen, lower back, hand and foot.
For Practitioners, avoid needling the following points in general during pregnancy:
- Lumbar spine, sacrum and coccyx
- Hand especially the first web space
- Foot – there is a region 3cm proximal to the medial malleolus that is contra-indicated
Having said that, if performed in the correct manner taking into the account the above-mentioned points, dry needling can be performed safely and effectively during the second trimester of pregnancy.
To find an experienced GEMt Dry Needler visit our Find a Practitioner page.