Dry Needling

At Back in Motion® Physical Therapy, our focus is to change people’s lives by providing pain relief and improving their quality of life.

What exactly is dry needling?

Dry needling is a technique used in physical therapy to alleviate pain and muscle tightness. It involves inserting thin, solid needles into trigger points or tight bands of muscle to release tension and promote healing. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling targets specific areas in the muscular system rather than following traditional meridian lines. It is a widely accepted practice in the field of physical therapy and has shown positive results in reducing pain and improving overall function for many patients. 

  • It is a pain relieving technique that physical therapists use involving.
  • A thin mono-filament needle without any liquid in it (dry).
  • Used to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying trigger points or muscle “knots”.

 What does it involve and how long does it take?

The procedure targets myofascial trigger points—tightly knotted areas within a muscle that can contribute to pain and restricted movement. By inserting the needle, a physical therapist stimulates these points, encouraging the muscle to relax through a response known as a local twitch reflex. This process helps to reset the muscle’s biochemical environment, promoting healing and pain relief.

  • The therapist 1st finds the trigger points by palpating the area they are treating. They insert the needle into the knot and leave it there or may turn the needle after a few minutes for more effect. The muscle fibers in that area then relax, and circulation improves.
  • Needles stay in for 5–30 mins.

Dry needling vs acupuncture?

While dry needling and acupuncture both involve the insertion of needles, they differ significantly in their approach and objectives. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine practice, aims to balance the body’s energy flow according to traditional theories. In contrast, dry needling is a modern, evidence-based technique focused on relieving musculoskeletal discomfort and improving physical function.

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