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  • Carly Feltz, DPT, CMTPT, CLT

Dry Needling 101


Dry needling is a specialized procedure that decreases myofascial pain and inflammation. It is performed by therapists certified in dry needling. Treatment is directed at decreasing the activity of myofascial trigger points, which can be involved in both acute and chronic pain conditions. Dry needling is an effective way to decrease pain so you can get back life without limitations!


What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a specialized technique performed by certified physical therapists who are experts in the technique. A fine, filiform needle is inserted into a taut band of muscle or myofascial trigger point (in the muscle) to break the pain cycle.


What are the benefits?

Benefits of dry needling include: Immediate decrease in pain, decreased inflammation, improved blood flow, decreased spasm, better range of motion, decreased hypersensitivity, improved scar tissue mobility.


Overall, patients with complaints of muscle spasm, muscle tightness, or rigidity have great success with dry needling.


What conditions benefit from dry needling?

Conditions that may benefit include: Chronic pain, muscle spasms, headaches, back pain, pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, hip pain, tennis elbow, Plantar fasciitis … and more!


Does dry needling hurt?

The insertion of the needle itself is usually painless. However, the needle may create a localized twitch response in the muscle that feels like a cramping or aching sensation. The muscle may be sore after the treatment, but usually feels very relaxed and flexible the next day. Some patients have relaxation of their muscles for weeks to months after the needling is performed.


Resources for dry needling include:

Mayo Clinic

Youtube video with a great explanation of dry needling

Youtube video demonstrating strength gains with dry needling



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