Dry Needling

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What is dry needling?

Dry needling, or intramuscular dry needling, is a technique used for the treatment of pain, muscle tension and tightness. A highly skilled, certified physical therapist inserts a “dry” monofilament needle without medication through the skin and into areas of the painful muscle. Dry needling can increase blood flow to the area, decrease muscle spasms and reduce pain. Dry needling is not an isolated treatment and should be used with a comprehensive treatment plan developed by your physical therapist.

What conditions are appropriate for dry needling?

Conditions treated may be degenerative, chronic or due to injury:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Chronic pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritic pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Heel pain
  • Foot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Radicular pain
  • And more

What are the potential benefits of dry needling?

  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease scar tissue
  • Decrease muscle spasms and trigger points
  • Decrease muscular tightness
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase blood flow
  • Increase function for a return to normal activities

How painful is dry needling?

Dry needling can create a muscle twitch that feels like a cramp temporarily then produces muscle relaxation. On occasion, you might feel a pinch sensation that subsides quickly after needle insertion. Dry needling can create residual muscle soreness in the muscles treated. This is a normal response to dry needling therapy and usually goes away after 24-48 hours.

What are the side effects of dry needling?

Common side effects of dry needling are muscle soreness, light bleeding, and minimal fatigue after treatment. Other more serious, yet very rare, risks are infection, nerve injury, or fainting. These more serious side effects are rare.

The Healthlink Physical Therapy Approach

Healthlink strives to help you reach your physical goals and reduce pain while doing it. Techniques such as dry needling, soft tissue mobilizations, joint mobilizations, therapeutic exercise and aquatic therapy are all useful tools to help you get back to doing the activities you love. Our therapists will listen to your concerns, perform a thorough examination, and build a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.

Email us at [email protected] to learn more about how dry needling can help you today!


“Dry needling treatment performed by physical therapists is an underdog therapy. Lauren makes you feel comfortable and explains everything as she does it. It helped relieve my muscle pain, and the long term benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort you feel on occasion during treatment. And bonus- you know it’s worked when you don’t even feel it anymore! I’ve looked forward to it when I go to PT and think it’s worked wonders in my neck muscles!”

- Nicole

Healthlink Outpatient Rehab

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