Dry Needling - Active Physio Health

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling involves inserting fine needles into specific points located throughout the body to help relieve pain or have other therapeutic effects. There may be a mild aching sensation around the site of the needle, they are extremely fine and are often hardly felt.  There are many modern theories as to why acupuncture works and there has been much scientific research carried out to help prove these theories.

Pain relief may be immediate or develop over a few hours or days. Dry Needling often has a cumulative effect, with pain relieving affects building up over a series of treatments. There are some possible side-effects, mostly they are rare, but can include light-headedness, dizziness, tiredness, slight bruising or muscle aching after treatment. Your physiotherapist will discuss these with you before treatment.

And this is becoming more widely used and accepted throughout the medical community. Many physiotherapists offer dry needling as a treatment modality as part of physiotherapy management.

What can dry needling help with?

Dry needling may be suggested by your physio for a variety of conditions. It is often used as an adjunct in the management of:

      • Acute and chronic injuries
      • Back and neck pain
      • Muscle and joint problems
      • Nerve pain
      • Headaches and migraines
    • Sports injuries

Dry needling will be recommended based on an individualized assessment and often is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy treatments.

Trigger points will be selected based on the area of injury and your individual needs. Very thin, single use, sterile needles are used, preventing any risk of infection. Most individuals experience little to no discomfort, although a warm or aching sensation lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours may be experienced around the insertion point. The number of treatments will vary depending on what condition is being treated. For acute injuries, only a few treatments may be required. For complex or longstanding issues, your physiotherapist may recommend additional sessions.                             

Dry Needling is a very safe treatment. The most common adverse reaction is slight bleeding or bruising at the insertion point. A small number of individuals may experience dizziness, nausea, or fainting.


In conjunction with other treatment methods, dry needling can help:                       

    • Relieve muscle, joint, and/or nerve pain
    • Decrease headache symptoms
    • Increase energy
  • Reduce injury-associated anxiety

Can I have dry needling?

Your physiotherapist will discuss with you whether they think dry needling can benefit you. However if you have one of the things below, unfortunately dry needling is not safe to be used on you;

    • You have a metal allergy – stainless steel
    • You have a phobia of needles
  • You have an infection in the area to be needled

There are also times that dry needling needs to be used with caution. The conditions listed below would not prevent you from having dry needling but can change the effects of dry needling. Please let your physiotherapist know if you have any of the conditions below:

    • Haemophilia
    • You are pregnant or trying to conceive
    • Epilepsy
    • Heart pace maker
    • Diabetes
  • Heart pace maker in place

Will it work?

Everyone is individual and also the effects of dry needling vary between different individuals. Dry Needling does not work for everyone and also the number of sessions required to have an effect varies between individuals..


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