Dry Needling

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a specialized procedure where a certified physical therapist uses a non-medicated small gauge needle to deactivate painful trigger points in your muscle, reducing your pain and improving muscle movement.

Dry needling can be used with most teens and adults with musculoskeletal issues — conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments and tendons.


Trigger points are sensitive spots within a muscle that can be tender to touch. They can form after an injury or overuse of your muscles. Touching an active trigger point can refer pain to other parts of your body.

Our physical therapists use dry needling to relax your trigger points and reduce pain.

No. Dry needling targets the muscle and trigger points directly for an immediate relief of pain. Acupuncture is said to stimulate the central nervous system to target pain and improve healing.

During your dry needling procedure, a physical therapist will insert a thin, sterile needle into the skin to shut down your muscular trigger points. The length of the needle will depend on the area of your body that is being dry needled. Most patients feel little or no pain as the needle is inserted.

The entire procedure takes as little as 15 minutes and there is a low risk of infection. After the procedure, patients typically experience pain relief lasting from a few hours to several weeks. The therapist may choose to perform other therapeutic techniques along with dry needling in order to maximize the results of your treatment. While the side effects from dry needling are usually minor, patients can experience bruising at the dry needling site, fatigue or lack of energy, and soreness.

Common issues that we use dry needling to treat are:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition of the hand and fingers caused by a pinched nerve * Face and jaw pain
  • Fibromyalgia, muscle pain that includes fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues * Foot and ankle sprain, including plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes * Headachehttps://www.selectphysicaltherapy.com/injury-finder/head/ * Hip and leg pain, including muscle strain, calf-tightness or sciatica – a condition in which a pinched spinal nerve in the lower back causes pain in the back, hip or outer side of the leg * Impingement, a condition in which a tendon is irritated (pinched) between structures, such as a disc * Low back pain and neck pain, including radiculopathy (a pinched nerve) * Shoulder and arm pain
  • Tendonitis, a condition in which the tissue connecting muscle to bone becomes inflamed

Dry needling can be used with most teens and adults with musculoskeletal issues — conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments and tendons. However, there are some patients who should not have dry needling, including:

  • Patients with certain bleeding disorders
  • Pregnant women, especially during the first-trimester


Scroll to Top