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What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a therapeutic intervention used by Physical Therapists to relieve pain. It involves using a thin filament needle and inserting it into a trigger point. A trigger point is a taut band in a muscle that can refer pain to another area in your body. Releasing these trigger points improves blood flow and oxygen. This can lead to a decrease in pain and improvement in mobility, ultimately helping you return to full function!

How quickly can you see results?

Results from Dry Needling can be instantaneous. Patients can immediately feel an improvement in their symptoms in the same session. The number of visits depends on the diagnosis and the length of time that pain has been present. For more chronic pain, additional visits will most likely be needed to fully eliminate all of the trigger points and painful areas. 

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

Same tools, different philosophies…

Dry Needling and Acupuncture use the same type of needles and are used for pain relief, but the reasoning behind each is different. 

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that is based off of bodily energy and “qi” (pronounced “chi”). This “qi” travels through meridians in the human body, and there are 350 different acupuncture access points in the human body. This is a type of alternative medicine that is not scientifically proven, but it can be used as a form of pain relief for some individuals. 

Dry Needling is based on the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, and the goal is to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points and connective tissues using the thin needle. Our therapists will perform an evaluation of your neuro-muscular system to determine specific muscles and/or tissues that may be causing your pain and apply dry needling to that area. 

Does it hurt?

The pain felt from Dry Needling is typically described as the “feel good pain”, the same type of pain reproduced during a deep tissue massage or foam rolling. It can also be uncomfortable as your muscles can involuntarily twitch, but this means that the trigger point is releasing lactic acid and other toxins.

The pain caused from Dry Needling is a deep aching pain, and it might cause some muscle soreness later on. Our patients typically report that the procedure’s pain is far less than the pain they have otherwise been experiencing, and they feel a relief from their pain afterwards. 

Who benefits from dry needling?

Dry Needling can help patients who have a new injury or recent onset of pain (acute pain) or chronic pain. Specifically, it can help with patients who suffer from muscle cramping or strains, athletic injuries, overuse injuries, neck or low back pain (especially after a car accident), and fibromyalgia. We also can perform it for rotator cuff syndrome, hip or shoulder bursitis, knee pain, tennis/golfer’s elbow, or plantar fasciitis. Our Physical Therapists will perform their evaluation and ask screening questions to determine if this method would be a good option to include in your plan of care!

Results from Dry Needling can be instantaneous. Patients can immediately feel an improvement in their symptoms in the same session. The number of visits depends on the diagnosis and the length of time that pain has been present. For more chronic pain, additional visits will most likely be needed to fully eliminate all of the trigger points and painful areas.

What training do physical therapists have for dry needling?

Besides the four years of undergraduate work and three years of graduate school to receive a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT), Physical Therapists must undergo additional training to become certified in Dry Needling. This includes at least 50 hours of direct training courses and passing a written and practical exam. Physical Therapists use their anatomy knowledge to assess where to apply Dry Needling safely and effectively. Click here or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment with our physical therapists!

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