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What is Dry Needling and is it for Me?

Dry needling is a soft tissue modality performed by specially trained physical therapists to treat pain and dysfunction. We utilize this treatment often to treat trigger points, or "knots", in the muscle. Trigger points occur when your muscle does not know whether to tighten or relax and can cause tension to develop in a localized area of the muscle. Dry needling involves inserting a small filiform needle directly into the trigger point to get it to release, improve circulation to the area and decrease tightness in the muscle.

You may be wondering if this treatment is similar to acupuncture. Acupuncturists and physical therapists may use the same type of needle but the treatment styles are very different. Acupuncturists utilize a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach and do not work on trigger points as previously described.

Dry needling has been used to help many people overcome painful injuries. However, dry needling is not a magic bullet and is never performed as a standalone treatment. After the trigger point is released and the muscle is reset, it is very important to reteach the muscle how to work properly. If you do not fix the real reason behind why that muscle is dysfunctional, the pain will most likely return. This is why we utilize other hands on techniques and exercise prescription to ensure that you get the long term results you have been looking for.

Dry needling is just one of the many tools that your physical therapist may utilize to maximize results and improve a patient's condition. However, it may not be the best tool for some of our patients. We want to ensure that we are selecting the safest, most effective treatments for each of our patients. To determine if dry needling is right for you, talk to your physical therapist today.

If you have any questions about dry needling, please contact us. We are available by phone at 555-407-3477 or email at

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