Dry Needling: Benefits, Effects & When To Use


How does Dry Needling work?


Dry needling is a technique of inactivating trigger points through insertion of a needle into a tight band of muscle until a twitch response occurs. Trigger points are a common symptom of myofascial pain and are defined as a point within a taut/tight band of muscle that is tender/sore to touch. A trigger point can cause pain, weakness, range restriction and/or other symptoms at both its location and can refer pain to other regions within the body. Your physiotherapist can identify these trigger points for you in the clinic.


What are the benefits and effects of Dry Needling?


  1. Decreased muscle spasm and improved range of motion of muscles/joints
  2. Reduce pain
  3. Resolvement of radicular symptoms (e.g. sciatica and referred pain down leg/arm)
  4. Better recruitment and activation of appropriate muscles
  5. Improved muscle activation patterns (Meaning you can lift more weight in the gym/increase speed/improve performance!)
  6. Central Nervous system response at the level of the dry needling
  7. Alteration in chemical balance within the muscle (this can decrease sensations of pain and reduces muscular dysfunction)
  8. Relief of both acute and chronic pain
  9. Promote healing at the area of the injury
  10. Better relaxation/switching off in tight muscles


What causes Trigger Points?


Trigger points are commonly present when you are in pain due to muscles being tight or joints not moving properly:

– Caffeine

– Muscle dysfunction

– Muscle overload

– Stress

– Lack of sleep

– Excessive exercise/over training



What is the difference between trigger point release with dry needling vs with a therapist’s thumbs?


Dry needling allows a therapist to be more specific with their treatment of trigger points and also allows easier access to trigger points which are located in deep muscles. However, some of the effects of dry needling can be achieved through hands-on therapy by the practitioner.
Both of these treatments have beneficial effects on pain and joint range of motion


What disorders can have dry needling performed on them?


Any issue that a Physiotherapist is seeing you for can be treated with dry needling technique – ask your Physiotherapist about it today!


If you have any questions or would like to book in to see one of our physiotherapists, please do not hesitate to contact Get Active Physiotherapy on 1300 8 9 10 11 or email us at admin@getactivephysio.com.au


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