Dry needling is NOT acupuncture; however it does use the same thin needles. Dry needling is a fairly new treatment option in which a thin needle is inserted into muscle in an attempt to treat musculoskeletal dysfunction2. Needles can be inserted either at or away from the site of pain depending on what is the root cause of the musculoskeletal dysfunction. Dry needling should not be a painful procedure; however it may produce a “dull, achy” sensation. Dry needling is not recommended for everybody so please speak with your therapist to see if this is an appropriate treatment option for you!
Possible benefits of dry needling:
- Decrease pain1
- Improve range of motion3
- Improve blood flow1
- Accelerated tissue healing rates1
Post Dry Needling Advice
- Stay hydrated
- Heat or ice dependent on your therapists recommendation
- Perform restorative exercises provided by your therapist
- Update your therapist on how you felt both during and post dry needling
1) Dunning, J., Butts, R., Mourad, F., & Young, I. (2014). Dry needling: A literature review with implications for clinical practice guidelines. The Physical Therapy Review,19(4), 252-265
2) Kalichman, L., & Vulfsons, S. (2010). Dry Needling in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 23 (5), 640-646
3) Mejuto-Vasquez, M., Salom-Moreno, J., Ortega-Santiago, R., Truyols-Dominguez, S., & Fernandez-de-la-Penas, C. (2014). Short-Term Changes in Neck Pain, Widespread Pressure Pain Sensitivity, and Cervical Range of Motion After the Application of Trigger Point Dry Needling in Patients With Acute Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy,44(4), 252-260.