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6 Common Questions About Dry Needling

Posted by Eqphysio on 1 March 2019
6 Common Questions About Dry Needling


What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling, sometimes referred to as "Western Acupuncture" is the use of a solid, filament needle, similar to those used in acupuncture, being inserted into the skin and the muscles below. This treatment technique is used by trained manual therapists such as Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists, Osteopaths etc. 


Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

No, Acupuncture is a traditional chinese medicine tool that utilises the theory of restoring the body's Qi flow through key points in the body (Meridians) to restore balance in the body.


In dry needling, the aim is to decrease muscle tension, decrease pain and improve function by targetting myofascial trigger points (hyperirritable spots) in muscles.


How does it work?

By targeting myofascial trigger points, dry needling causes the following responses to occur in the body:

  • Stimulation of blood flow to the muscle

  • Stimulation of endorphin release

  • Stimulation of the body's natural healing process

  • Relaxation of the muscle, as a result result of the above.


What does Dry Needling feel like and is it safe?

Dry needling is a relatively painless therapy. Most people do not feel the insertion of the needle, at most you may feel a small sting as the needle is inserted but this should not last more than a brief moment.

Whilst the needles are left in the skin and muscle you should not feel any additional sensations at all. 

Dry needling is a very safe form of treatment.

There is very little chance of infection at the site of insertion since:

  • the needles used are individually packaged, sterile and single use only

  • the skin is cleaned beforehand with an alcohol swab

  • the therapist cleans their hands through washing or using hand sanitiser

  • and the therapist may use sterile gloves as well.

On very rare occasions, there may be some bruising around the site of insertion or a few drops of blood when removing the needle. 

Dry Needling may not be appropriate for those with:

  • Needle phobias

  • Pregnancy

  • Compromised immune systems

  • Bleeding disorders

  • Fraility

  • Vascular diseases

If you are have any concerns about these, please speak with your physiotherapist.


What conditions can Dry Needling assist with?

Each individual injury/condition is different and a trained physiotherapist will always assess and evaulate whether dry needling may be suitable and effective in treating your situtaion.

Common conditions where dry needling can be effective include:

  • Lower back pain

  • Sciatica

  • Neck pain and headaches

  • Hip and knee pain

  • Iliotibial band syndrome

  • Shoulder pain

  • Repetitive strain injuries

  • Chronic pain conditions


How often would I need Dry Needling?

Dry needling is often used during the beginning stages of acute injuries to initiate the relief of pain and restoration of function quickly. Typically it will take 2-3 sessions for a positive reaction to take place as the aim of dry needling is to trigger a mechanical and biomechanical change to occur in the body. 

While dry needling is useful for relieving pain and restoring function, it does not always treat the underlying source of pain or dysfunction. Other manual techniques or exercises should be included in the treatment. This ensures long lasting benefits from the therapy.

If you would like to know if Dry Needling can help you, please feel free to contact us:

Phone: 9553 8145
Or if you're in the area, drop on by and have a chat with us to see if we can help in any way. We're located at 1/45 Montgomery St, Kogarah NSW 2217.

Tags:Dry Needling

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