Dry Needling

“Dry Needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. Dry needling (DN) is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, and diminish persistent peripheral nociceptive input, and reduce or restore impairments of body structure and function leading to improved activity and participation.” – APTA, 2013

Dry Needling has been used in physical therapy practice since 1984. It has been shown as an effective and efficient treatment for:

  • Back and Hip Pain - including lumbar degenerative disc disease, arthritic changes and herniated discs
  • Head and Neck Pain - including whiplash and headaches / migraines, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disk disease or osteoarthritis
  • Shoulder Pain - including rotator cuff muscle tears, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), tendonitis and impingement syndrome
  • Knee Pain - including degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis
  • Shin / Ankle / Foot Pain - including shin splints, gout, metatarsalgia and Morton's neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
  • Elbow Pain - including lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow)
  • Hand and Wrist Pain - including gamekeeper's thumb, DeQuervain's syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis
  • Post-surgical Pain
  • Acute and Chronic Tendonitis
  • Athletic and Sports-related Overuse Injuries
  • Otological (Ear) and Opthamological (Eye) Pain - including tinnitus and eye strain
  • Dental (Teeth) and Orthodontic (Jaw and Occlusal) Pain - including cavities, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, tooth impaction and root problems
  • Post-traumatic Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA), and Work-related Injuries
  • Other Chronic Pain Conditions - including myofascial pain and myofascial pain syndrome (MPS)

Dry Needling treats by:

  • Releases muscle shortening which increases ROM (range of motion)
  • Removes the source of irritation (inflammatory chemicals in the body, trigger points, pain signals to the brain)
  • Promotes healing by the needle causing microtrauma to the tissue which increases red blood cells and growth factor chemicals in the treated region of the body
  • Removes overall stress/tension in tissues caused by anxiety derived from pain

Evidence of dry needling effectiveness:

  • It helps abnormal muscle activation (Lucas, Clin Biomech, 2010)
  • Changes are made to local circulation and the opposite limb (Kubo E J App Phys 2010) (Kubo, Int J Sp Med 2011)
  • Increased circulation to nearby joint (Loaiza, Autonomic Neiro 02)
  • Collagen rapid increase (Lee, Burns, 2011)
  • Relieves remote pain (Hsieh, APMR, 2011)
  • May help tendinopathy ( Br J SP Med 2007)
  • May change concentration of chemicals that regulate inflammation in the body (Dommerholt, 2013)
  • Increase natural opiates (pain relieving chemicals) produced by your own body (Clement-Jones AJPMR 2011)
  • Decreases spasticity caused by a stroke (NeuroRehabd 2017)
  • Immediate changes in ROM, strength, and muscle thickness (Med & Science in Sports and Ex 17; etc)

Dry needling is NOT acupuncture.

  • Dry Needling therapists choose where to put needles based on palpation, muscle testing.
  • Dry Needling only treats musculoskeletal and nervous system diagnoses.
  • Dry Needling tries to balance the Homeostasis of the body that is impacted by the nervous system.

Call us today to get scheduled for an initial evaluation,
and find out if dry needling could be helpful for you.