What is Dry Needling and how can it help you?

Are you interested to try dry needling? Have you wondered what it does, and how it works? Or whether it’s the correct approach for you? I’m here to give an insight on the topic of dry needling.

So firstly, let’s talk about what it is and why it’s widely used by many healthcare practitioners from osteopaths and physiotherapists to myotherapists and chiropractors.

Dry needling is a therapeutic modality where extremely fine needles are used to penetrate soft tissues, aimed at treating injuries or conditions associated with localised pain or tenderness – or simply, the spots in muscles that hurt when pushed.

When can Dry Needling be used?

As healthcare professionals, how do we know when to use dry needling on someone?

Dry needling isn’t the sole fix for any one injury or condition. In most cases, it is used in conjunction with many other strategies such as adjunctive manual therapies and exercise prescription to maximise the overall benefit. It is commonly utilised for:

  • Acute injuries such as muscle strains
  • Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon)
  • Migraines or tension-type headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Referred pain

What are the benefits?

There are many proposed benefits with the most supported being:

  • Decreasing muscular pain
  • Increasing blood flow to the targeted area
  • Reducing central and peripheral nerve sensitisation to pain 

Dry needling is a very common and safe practice, although its mechanism of effect is still being explored through scientific research. What we do understand is that many people respond well to its use and complementary treatment approaches for musculoskeletal pain.

If you are interested in dry needling, reach out to us or book an appointment online today to discover how dry needling may be able to help you.


Reference list:

Cagnie, B., Dewitte, V., Barbe, T., Timmermans, F., Delrue, N., & Meeus, M. (2013). Physiologic effects of dry needling. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 17(8). doi:10.1007/s11916-013-0348-5

Gattie, E., Cleland, J. A., & Snodgrass, S. (2017). The effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for musculoskeletal conditions by physical therapists: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(3), 133-149. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7096

Kamali, F., Mohamadi, M., Fakheri, L., & Mohammadnejad, F. (2019). Dry needling versus friction massage to treat tension type headache: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 23(1), 89-93. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2018.01.009

Lucas, N., Macaskill, P., Irwig, L., Moran, R., & Bogduk, N. (2009). Reliability of physical examination for diagnosis of myofascial trigger points. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 25(1), 80-89. doi:10.1097/ajp.0b013e31817e13b6

McAphee, D., Bagwell, M., & Falsone, S. (2022). Dry needling: A clinical commentary. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9159711/