• Emma Martin

Dry Needling

Updated: Mar 8

Have you recently been introduced to the idea of Dry Needling, but are unsure of what that means?


Read below to understand more…


What is Dry Needling? Is it safe?

Dry Needling is a treatment modality that is used often by Physiotherapists worldwide. It is a technique that is minimally invasive and carries a low risk, and its effectiveness has been confirmed in various studies and systematic reviews. It is a very safe technique, and only clean, individually packaged, single use sterilised needles are used. The needles are very fine, and bruising or bleeding rarely occurs. There are two methods of Dry Needling; the deep technique is considered most effective and is commonly used in areas of large muscle bulk. The superficial technique is used in areas where there is a slightly higher risk of adverse effects.

Dry Needling is commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation by targeting myofascial trigger points. Myofascial pain and trigger points are a common form of pain that can account for both acute and chronic symptoms, affecting up to 10% of the adult population. These trigger points are localised, highly irritable spots along a taut band of muscle fibres. When the trigger point becomes stimulated, it can elicit either a referred pain or local twitch response.



How does Dry Needling work?

When the myofascial trigger points are targeted with the dry needles, it helps to reduce pain, muscle tension, injury and dysfunction. It is considered a highly effective technique and often the pain relief is felt immediately as the muscles relax. One particular benefit of Dry Needling is that generally there is less pain both during and after treatment when compared to other trigger point release techniques, such as soft tissue release or massage. When the needles first penetrate the trigger point, an initial twitch or deep ache may be felt that slowly transitions to a light dull ache or nothing at all.

After the Dry Needling treatment, there is often little or no soreness. However, sometimes patients may experience a mild, dull ache up to 24 hours post treatment. Drinking lots of water, stretching, movement, and heat can also help to reduce the duration of the soreness.


What can Dry Needling be used to treat?

Some of the more common conditions that can be treated with Dry Needling include;

· Headaches

· Neck pain

· Low back pain

· Chronic musculoskeletal conditions

· Bursitis


What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

Whilst there are similarities between acupuncture and Dry Needling, they are not the same thing. The needles that are used in acupuncture and Dry Needling are the same, however, the way in which they are used is very different. Dry Needling is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles, and acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques.




Dry Needling is a very safe and effective treatment option.


If you are interested to see if Dry Needling could work for you, please contact us to book an appointment with one of our Dry Needling qualified physiotherapists.

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