Dry needling is a technique physical therapists use for the treatment of pain and movement impairments. It uses a small, solid needle, called a “dry” needle because no medications or fluid are introduced into the tissue. The needle is inserted into a trigger point, resulting in a twitch response and release of the trigger point.
A thorough evaluation is performed, as with all Physical Therapy referrals, to determine appropriate need and benefit of dry needling. It is rarely a stand-alone treatment, and can be seamlessly incorporated into treatment with physical therapy. Physical therapists are required to attend continuing education specifically for dry needling; as well as maintaining competency in order to provide exceptional care.
Dry needling is beneficial for patients who have pain, tight musculature, limitations in movement, and weakness. Dry needling can be effective in treating pain and dysfunction in areas such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle tension
- Sprains and strains
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Hip, knee, ankle and foot problems
- Hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder problems