What is Dry Needling?

Written by admin | May 29 2016

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling involves the insertion of a thin filament needle to stimulate the healing process of soft tissues (muscle “trigger points”, fascia, tendons and ligaments, etc) resulting in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology.

Research has shown that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.

What is a “trigger point”?

A myofascial “trigger point” is a hyper irritable point in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or “knot”. This area becomes painful at the site and can also “radiate” in predictable patterns.

Is there a difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

The objectives and philosophy behind the use of dry needling by physical therapists is not based on ancient theories or tenets of traditional Chinese medicine. The performance of modern dry needling by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

Both Dry Needling and Acupuncture do, however, use the same tool; a solid needle filament.

Is it painful?

Generally, the insertion of the needle is not felt. The local “twitch response” may provoke a brief pain sensation that has been described as a tingling, aching or cramping sensation.

The patient also may feel a reproduction of “their” pain which is a helpful diagnostic indicator for the practitioner attempting to diagnose the cause of the patients symptoms. Patients soon learn to recognize and even welcome this sensation as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length function to the involved muscle.

Who can benefit from Dry Needling?

A variety of musculoskeletal problems including, but not limited to: Acute/Chronic injuries, Headaches, Neck/Back pain, Tendinitis, Muscle Spasms, “Sciatica”, Hip/Knee pain, Muscle strains, Fibromyalgia, “Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow”, PFPS,Overuse injuries, etc.

​Please be aware:

Side effects may vary among individuals. Typically, only mild muscle soreness or skin bruising is reported.
PLEASE ENQUIRE FROM YOUR LOCAL PHYSIOTHERAPIST ABOUT THE PRECAUTIONS AND CONTRA-INDICATION OF DRY NEEDLING BEFORE IT’S PERFORMED.