Five Important Things to Know About Dry Needling

Dry needling is not a new technique of physical muscular pain treatment. It dates back to ancient times when such procedures were conventional. In modern times, the more we study about dry needling, the more we understand the benefits it has. Today it has expanded its uses in particular muscle pain treatment and physical injuries. The therapy addresses everything from back pain to sports injuries and migraines. Dry needling proves beneficial for muscle, ligament, tendon, and joint issues for physicians and patients alike.

As more practitioners utilize this treatment, it is essential to know the basics of the procedure, what to expect from the process, and the conditions that benefit from it. Below we list five critical things to know about dry needling.

  • What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling technique is a skill performed by chiropractic physicians trained. While addressing particular dysfunction in movement, a therapist aims to manage muscular injuries. This technique uses a thin needle made of filiform for skin penetration. They reach deep into the fascia and muscles to identify the trigger and connective tissue points. The results of this technique are speedy healing and muscular pain relief. The decrease in muscular hypertonicity increased joint motion, and correction of movement are the outputs of the procedure. Releasing the trigger point adhesion eases the muscles and reduces pain due to muscular tension.

  • Dry Healing is Not Acupuncture

Dry needling has no relation to acupuncture in any way. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique in which the use of meridian knowledge has value. Physical, tongue, and pulse examination remain the critical points of the exam and work up. Traditional acupuncture dates back to thousands of years and has a widely studied base for treatment.

On the other hand, dry needling relies on the therapists’ knowledge regarding skeletal and neuroanatomy. This knowledge allows them to identify the trigger points and taut bands. The damaged, overused, and sensitive tissue treatment becomes the base of the therapist’s focus. A practitioner of dry needling utilizes several extensive examinations. It includes movement analysis, orthopedic, and neurological evaluation with workup. Alongside these, additional workup of dermatomal testing is also a part of therapy.

  • Trigger Points

Trigger points are the points in muscles, the fascia that feels tensed, or painful if compresses. The composition of these points based on taut muscular or fascial bands that limit the blood flow. The feeling of pain is due to tenderness and motor dysfunction. A recent study by Current Pain and Headache Reports state that direct trauma to muscles causes the development of trigger points.

Trigger points most develop due to a particular occupational sport or recreational activities when muscle use exceeds the limits.

Dry needling differs from other forms of muscular therapy because the focus remains on the trigger point release. This release in tension reduces alleviated pain and muscular stress.

  • Twitch Response During Therapy

During dry needling, a response needs identification called Twitch response. It is a reflexive response of a damaged muscle to a needle pierce. During trigger point needling, the goal is to reach the rapid release of a tensed muscle. Decreasing the tightness and sensitivity of the surrounding area. A strained muscle feels discomfort during an occasional twitching and cramping feeling. The twitch response releases the blood flow to that particular muscle and releases inflammatory, resulting in returning to a healthy state. Whenever the receiver feels an involuntary twitch response, this indicates that the needle has hit the right point.

  • Is Dry Needling Therapy Painful?

The dry needling therapy uses filiform needles to release the tension of muscles and to relieve pain on trigger points. Patients experience a mild ache during the treatment and post-process up to 24 hours. A few seconds of discomfort experienced by the patient during twitch response remains minimal.  It is perfectly normal to experience mild muscle soreness after dry needling therapy. — the muscle stretching, and heating the area relieves that soreness.

Conditions Commonly Treated by Dry Needling

  • Neck Pain
  • Migraine
  • Headaches
  • Low Back Pain
  • Shoulder Dysfunction
  • Knee Pain
  • Throwers Elbow
  • Hip Pain
  • Runners Knee
  • Shin Splints
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Muscle Tension


Dry needling therapy serves as the best form of muscle tension treatment. A mild pinch feeling and discomfort is normal during the procedure. However, the result it generates covers of slight ache and soreness. Therapists use this technique to identify the sore trigger points and release the blood flow, allowing a reduction in pain. It has now become a standard therapy among chiropractic practitioners and those involved in muscle.