Dry needling is a technique physical therapists use (where allowed by state law) to treat myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points.
Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling, include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy.
Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles, and supported by research.
Key Issues Treated
Dry needles can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Conditions responsive to intramuscular stimulation include (but are not limited to):
- Tennis Elbow
- Carpal tunnel
- Golfer’s elbow
- Pain in the legs
- Muscle injuries
- Cramps in the leg
- Muscle spasms
- Fibromyalgia (“hypersensitive points” in the body)
- Sciatic pain (mild tingling, dull pain, or a burning sensation)
- Pain in the hips
- Knee pain
- Back pain