What is dry needling and does it work?

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April 8, 2023

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a therapeutic treatment involving inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. These points are known as trigger points or myofascial trigger points. The needles are inserted into the muscle to stimulate it and help release the tension causing the muscle pain and spasms.

What does the research say?

The research on dry needling is still relatively new, but there are a few studies that have been conducted. Overall, the research suggests that dry needling can be an effective treatment for various types of pain, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches. There is also some evidence to suggest that dry needling can improve the range of motion and reduce muscle tension.

How does dry needling work?

Dry needling is a form of physical therapy that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. The goal of dry needling is to relieve pain and improve function. Dry needling is based on the theory that pain and dysfunction can be caused by trigger points, or knots, in the muscles. These trigger points are thought to be caused by a build-up of muscle tension and inflammation. Dry needling is believed to release these trigger points, relieving pain and restoring normal muscle function. Evidence supports the effectiveness of dry needling for treating various types of pain. A systematic review found that dry needling effectively treated neck pain, low back pain, and headaches. Another study found that dry needling was effective for treating shoulder pain.

Are there any side effects?

Dry needling is a treatment for myofascial pain syndrome, but does it have any side effects? Side effects from dry needling are rare, but they can occur. The most common side effect is mild soreness at the needle site. Other potential side effects include bruising, bleeding, local twitching, fainting, and headaches. Most of these side effects are minor and temporary. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider.


Dry needling is a type of therapy that involves inserting thin needles into the skin to help relieve pain. It is a relatively new treatment, and there is still much research to be done to determine its effectiveness. Some studies have shown promising results, while others have not. More research is needed to determine whether dry needling is an effective treatment for pain relief.

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