What is dry needling?

Dry needling is technique used by physical therapists to treat myofascial pain and soft tissue dysfunction. The term “dry” means a needle that does not have medicine or injection, therefore, dry needling refers to inserting a needle without medication into a muscle or tendon. The goal of dry needling is to increase range of motion and decrease pain. Dry needling is typically used in conjunction with other therapy techniques to help relieve pain and restore proper function of the muscle. Dry needling can also be referred to as functional dry needling or intramuscular manual therapy.

What conditions are treated with dry needling?

Dry needling can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders by helping to relax muscle trigger points. Dry needling is an appropriate therapy to treat:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Hamstring problems
  • Headaches
  • Shin splints
  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle tightness

Is dry needling safe?

Since dry needling involves inserting needles directly into the muscle many people experience immediate relief and are able to move more freely. Dry needling is as safe as most other treatments used by a therapist who is properly trained in using the technique.