top of page

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a trigger point technique used to treat musculoskeletal pain and movement impairments including some injuries.

Here are some potential benefits associated with dry needling:

  1. Pain Relief: Dry needling can help with pain relief by targeting trigger points, which are hypersensitive areas within the muscles, that can cause pain as well as refer pain to other parts of the body.

  2. Improved ROMs (Range of Motion): By releasing tension in tense muscles, dry needling can help improve joint mobility and range of motion, helping with musculoskeletal conditions or injuries.

  3. Healing: Dry needling can help the body's natural healing process by increasing blood flow to the affected area and stimulating the release of endorphins, (natural pain-relieving chemicals) produced in the body.

  4. Muscle Relaxation: Inserting the needle into tight or overactive muscles can help induce a relaxed response, by reducing muscle tension.

  5. Combine with other treatments: Dry needling can be used as part of a treatment plan with other therapies such as sports therapy, to address the underlying causes of the musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.

  6. Minimal Side Effects: Dry needling typically has minimal side effects when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner.

  7. Individual Treatment Plan: Dry needling techniques can be tailored to target specific muscles or areas of the body based on the client's symptoms and assessment findings, allowing for a personalised treatment plan.

What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

Dry needling vs acupuncture - they are both techniques that involve inserting thin needles into the body, but some of the differences include:

Principles and Philosophy:

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine principle and wors on balancing the flow of Chi in the body through pathways called meridians to promote health and treat various ailments.

  • Dry Needling: Dry needling is a modern Western technique based on targeting trigger points, which are areas of tension in skeletal muscle, to relieve pain and improve musculoskeletal function.


  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians. The depth of insertion may differ from dry needling.

  • Dry Needling: Dry needling involves inserting thin filiform needles directly into trigger points or taut bands within muscles, fascia, or connective tissue. The aim is to encourage a local twitch response (LTR) in the muscle, to help release tension and improve ROM.

Training and Licencing:

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture training is completed extensively in traditional Chinese medicine. They are usually licensed / certified by regulatory bodies for acupuncture practice.

  • Dry Needling: Dry needling therapists have backgrounds in physical therapy, sports therapy, chiropractic, other qualified health professions. Training in dry needling techniques may vary depending on the course accreditation. Licence requirements for dry needling are subject to the therapists local council Thank you for reading :-) Karen xx #dryneedling #dryneedlingcourse #dryneedlingtraining #sportsmassagecourse

45 views0 comments


bottom of page