What is Dry Needling?

Posted by: Reform Physical Therapy in Sport Tips on May 24, 2023

Dry needling is a technique that involves thin, monofilament needles inserted into ‘trigger points’ to cause a ‘micro trauma’ or localized circulatory response to promote the healing process.

Damaged, tense, or painful muscles can take lengths of time to heal on their own, dry needling has been proven to shorten healing times.

Dry needling can be used as part of a greater treatment plan to ease inflammation, promote healing, and release pain.

What conditions can Dry Needling treat?

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness throughout the body
  • Headaches & neck tension
  • Plantar fasciitis & foot pain
  • Elbow, forearm, & wrist pain
  • Knee pain & stiffness
  • Hamstring issues & shin splints
Dry Needling

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

Nope! While both practices aim to relieve pain or ailments, they are based on different treatment philosophies.

Dry needling’s aim is to cause a ‘micro-trauma’ which encourages the body to start the natural healing process. Dry needling is used specifically on muscles and trigger points.

Acupuncture is a practice based on ancient Chinese medicine. Its aim is to release endorphins, affect the nervous system, and restore the proper flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture involves inserting needles along the meridian lines within the body, which represent different organs and bodily systems.

What exactly is a ‘Trigger Point’?

A trigger point is a tight band of muscle fiber, or knots, located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points are typically tender to the touch and touching a trigger point can sometimes cause pain in other parts of the body.

Why is it called ‘Dry Needling’?

Because the technique requires a ‘dry’ needle, with no medication, injection, or ointment. The skin is sanitized, but the actual needle itself has nothing on it, it’s just a dry, sterilized needle.

Is Dry Needling right for you?

We can tell you that! Reach out to us and we can connect with a PT that can help determine if Dry Needling is a technique that can help you achieve your goals!