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What is Dry Needling?

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Do you know what dry needling is? Have you ever had it done? Here are the top 5 most commonly asked questions we get about dry needling in the office:

1) What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a skilled intervention performed by a healthcare professional. It involves the insertion of a fine filiform needle into the body to stimulate a healing response in the presence of neuromusculoskeletal issues and movement dysfunction.

2️) How is dry needling different from acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture is rooted in eastern philosophy while dry needling is rooted in western medicine. Traditional acupuncture focuses on balancing energies, Qi, in the body. They may use your pulse and tongue to determine where to place the needles. Dry needling focuses on the possible pain generators. Needles can be placed in or around the area of pain, in specific fascial points, around nerves, in passive trigger points, and along spinal or segmental points based on findings from the exam.

3️) In which situations would dry needling be used?

Simple muscle tightness, strains and sprains, an overworked body needing recovery, muscle activation, swelling reduction, and pain modulation are all clinical examples for the use of dry needling.

4️) Is dry needling for everyone?

Everyone is different and their reaction to a modality is going to vary. People with low blood pressure, low body fat, or low blood sugar may have a poor response to dry needling, meaning it can be more painful than we want. Some patients may have a “fight or flight” physical response to the needles and break out into sweat. Others feel completely relaxed during and after treatment.

5️) What is the difference between “dry” and “wet” needling?

Dry needling is essentially inserting a dry needle into an area in the body using a thin filiform needle. Wet needling is when a substance is being injected into the body through the needle like in a cortisone injection.

Have questions or interested in dry needling? Give us a call at (720) 207-3010.

Credit to: @structureandfunction - the full infographic can be found here:


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