What is Dry Needling?

What is Dry Needling?

Thursday, October 20, 2022

By Kelsey Max, DPT, PT

Dry needling is a relatively new technique that is used to decrease muscle pain and improve mobility. The needles that are used are very similar to that of an acupuncture needle; however, it is not the same methodology as acupuncture. Dry needling involves no injection which is why the descriptive word “dry” is used.

The mechanical properties of the needle in the muscle causes the muscle fibers to lengthen and increase blood flow to the area, which cleans out toxins from the muscles. Often times, electrical stimulation is applied to the needle which causes the muscle to contract. The stimulation will help “reset” the muscle and help decrease post-treatment soreness.

Dry needling can be used to treat multiple diagnoses including low back pain, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and many others. Many people get squeamish with the thought of needles, but, for most people, it is not a painful experience. The sensation is often described as a deep ache or burning which may be slightly uncomfortable. It does not feel like you are getting a shot because there is no injection. 

All three physical therapists at Gothenburg Health are certified in functional dry needling and have been seeing positive improvements in their patients. Dry needling is not a “cure” for most issues, but it is an impactful tool that can be used in conjunction with strengthening exercises, stretches, and manual therapeutic techniques to improve your pain.

To learn more, contact the rehabilitation department at Gothenburg Health.