What is Dry Needling?

Getting To The Point

If you follow the latest trends in professional sports, you’ve undoubtedly heard about this novel treatment approach. Athletes swear by its positive effects on recovery and sports medicine professionals are utilizing it for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. But what is dry needling and how does it differ from traditional acupuncture?

Dry needling uses a thin monofilament needle to penetrate the skin and treat underlying musculoskeletal injuries, improve blood flow, restore collagen formation, and decrease pain. It can be performed by a number of medical professionals including physical therapists, but all providers must have advanced certification to practice this technique.

Acupuncture utilizes the same monofilament needles, but is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine; restoring the body’s chi through meridians of the body and balancing its flow of energy. While the needle placement in acupuncture and dry needling might overlap, the rationale for treatment greatly differs.

Physical therapists that utilize dry needling will always perform a thorough assessment to identify the source of your pain and determine if dry needling is appropriate. Treatment is often supplemented with other manual therapy techniques (massage, stretching, joint mobilization) and corrective exercise to correct for imbalances in strength or motion that are causing your symptoms.

While dry needling is a safe and effective treatment, there are some risks. Individuals may experience light bleeding, bruising, and soreness. If you think you might benefit from dry needling treatment, book your appointment today!