Dry needling is performed here at On the Mend Physical Therapy by one of our licensed physical therapists to loosen and lengthen your muscles which is different from acupuncture in that dry-needling follows evidence-based guidelines.
Dry needling is a physical therapy intervention in which the PT uses a very thin dry needle to penetrate the skin and muscle, triggering a twitch response. This causes the muscle to loosen and lengthen, which helps relieve pain. This technique is especially effective when used at specified “trigger points,” which are areas throughout the body where muscles tend to become knotted with tension. PTs use dry needling to effectively treat a variety of ailments, from headaches and chronic back pain to tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Based on the degree of tension, the therapist may use dry needling in one small area or in multiple areas. While some patients report feeling a slight pinch or sting when the needle is inserted, most describe the procedure as relatively painless. Side effects are minimal, although some patients experience minor soreness or bruising following a dry needling session. Even in those cases, patients are encouraged to stay active following treatment, as this allows the muscles to continue releasing tension throughout the day.
Please note that dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. Whereas acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, dry needling is based on modern medical science and evidence.