What is Dry Needling
Dry Needing is a specific treatment technique that uses a solid filament needle to treat muscle
trigger points which are creating pain and discomfort.
A muscle trigger point is a highly localized, hyper-irritable spot in a palpable, taut band of
skeletal muscle fibers. These muscle trigger points – which are located throughout the human
body – play a role in producing and sustaining feelings of pain and discomfort.
Trigger points develop in muscle for various reasons including referred or local pain,
inflammation, tissue injury or other causes. Studies from the United States have shown that
trigger points were the primary source of pain in as many as 85% of pain-related appointments
with a primary care doctor.
How Dry Needling works
The mechanical stimulation of the muscle produces a local twitch or rapid depolarization of
muscle fibers, After this process the muscle activity dramatically reduces resulting in relaxation
and decrease in pain and dysfunction. This decrease in pain is related to the removal of
muscular compression on joint, nerve and vascular tissue, Occasionally, insertion of the needle
will also reproduce “referred pain” symptoms. This is often a positive sign confirming the
trigger point as being the cause of the pain. :
It is theorized that Dry Needling also stimulates release of endogenous opioids, and initiates a
“new healing process”.
Dry Needling Treatments
At First Physical Therapy, dry needling is prescribed as a part of an overall care plan.
Dry Needling is a natural extension of quality hands on therapy. To be effective, Dry Needling
should not be performed as an isolated treatment, but as part of a comprehensive care plan; it
is another very specific tool to reduce pain and help patients to better tolerate their physical
therapy and tailored exercise plan. ,
Successful Dry Needling must be administered by a highly skilled manual therapist, with
advanced training in anatomy and musculoskeletal function and dysfunction.
Dry Needling physical therapy will not replace the hands on approach to physical therapy but
will be an adjunct to our current level of care. lt is another very specific tool to help reduce
‘patients pain which will then allow the patients to tolerate their exercises much better.
To truly be successful at this type of therapy, the therapist must first and foremost be a skilled
manual therapist, as the techniques require very specific palpation skills and excellent
knowledge of anatomy. ,
Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture
While Dry Needling uses the same tool as acupuncture —it is with a different theoretical
purpose. Dry Needling ts based on traditional, studied and tested practices of Western
Medicine to restore normal muscle function. Traditional acupuncture practitioners follow
Eastern Medicine’s key principle of holistic treatment, and is based on normalizing the energy
imbalance, or Chi, in the body to cure syndromes. _
Further, the amount of formal training received by our therapists is extensive, Our therapists
have undergone hours of training, and has a thorough knowledge of a patient’s condition.
Frequently asked questions about Dry Needling
Does Dry Needling hurt?
Typically, patients will feel some level of discomfort, but it is short-lived. If one does not feel the
treatment at all, it is not yet working.
Is Dry Needing safe?
We go to great lengths to ensure safety, Our Physical Therapists have all passed their
necessary board exams, and have an exhaustive understanding of anatomy. We apply OSHA
standards, use personal protective high-quality equipment, and proudly hold to the highest
standards of safety. .
How is Dry Needling different from Acupuncture?
Dry Needling is based on traditional, studied and tested practices of Western Medicine to
restore normal muscle function. Traditional acupuncture practitioners’ follow Eastern
Medicine’s key principle of holistic treatment, and base their practice on “normalizing the
energy imbalance,” or Chi, in the body to cure syndromes.
Dry Needling is prescribed within medically-proven and measurable parameters, in accordance
with our advanced training in musculoskeletal function. Our therapists that perform Dry
Needing therapy have a thorough knowledge of a patient’s condition based on in-depth and ongoing assessments and treatment.
How will I feel after having treatment done?
There may be some soreness immediately after treatment in the area of the body that was Dry
Needled. This is normal, although does not always occur. Occasionally, soreness develops a
few hours later, or even the next day. The soreness may vary depending on the area of the
body that was treated, and also varies person-to-person, but typically it feels like you have had
an intense workout at the gym. Occasionally patients will experience some bruising with this
A patient may also feel tired, nauseous, emotional, and/or somewhat “out of it” after treatment.
This is a normal response that only lasts an hour or two after treatment.
How many sessions of Dry Needling will I need?
Most Dry Needling patients average 2-3 sessions, and typically not more than 5-6 except in
rare circumstances. Often we will use Dry Needling once per week out of 2-3 visits.
How much does Dry Needling cost?
Insurance typically does not cover Dry Needling and is typically an out-of-pocket expense.
The initial set up cost is $20 + $15 Dry Needling fee. Each Dry Needling session thereafter is
$15. Dry Needling Fees are in addition to the cost of the appointment.
Will Dry Needling be done at my first appointment?
We co not typically use Dry Needling at a patient’s first appointment unléss they fit a classic
“trigger point” presentation. We may introduce a patient to Dry Needling at an initial
appointment, educating on the procedure, benefits, risks and side effects; and then use the
procedure on subsequent visits.
Can I come in just for a Dry Needling appointment?
Not at this time. We only recommend Dry Needling as a part of a comprehensive physical
therapy treatment program.
What will happen in my Treatment Session?
Your therapist will first assess for areas of restriction in pain or movement that may benefit from this treatment. Then the therapist will clean and prep the area for treatment followed by insertion of a monofilament needle into the muscle. The needle may be manipulated until the trigger point is released (at which time you may feel the muscle “twitch”). The needle is then removed and disposed of into a Sharps container. Treatment may involve differing applications of the needle at different sites depending on your therapist’s clinical judgement. Dry needling is often quite painless, but may produce soreness (like a tough workout) for up to 2-3 days after the treatment.
Is this the same as Acupunture?
No, acupunture is based on Eastern Medicine focused on Meridans of the body and how it relates to Chi. Dry Needling is based on Western Medicine and is an effective tool to release myofascial tension and trigger points.
Is this Covered by Insurance?
Typically this service is not covered buy insurance and will cost an additional fee. Please contact us for further information.