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Dry Needling is a treatment technique that involves a sterile, single-use, long thin needle being inserted into the muscle to reduce pain, stiffness, and improve function.

Dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. The main difference is that dry needling aims to release myofascial trigger points, whereas acupuncture focuses on restoring the flow of energy (QI) in the body.

A myofascial trigger point is more commonly known as a knot in your muscle. It is characterised by increased sensitivity (painful/sore when pressed). The build-up of these knots in a muscle body can cause increased stiffness, decreased strength, and decreased coordination of that muscle.

These trigger points occur following injury to the area, sustained posture, nerve impingement, stress, and sudden movements using fast contraction of the muscles.


Dry needling a muscle results in a local twitch response, where muscle fibres are observed to twitch, and simultaneously causes relaxation by providing more blood, oxygen and nutrients to the area.

During dry needling, you might feel a sting as the needle is inserted into the tissue, and thereafter only feel a dull ache and twitch in the muscle. Sometimes, post-needling soreness is experienced for up to 3 days after the treatment, which can be managed by applying heat/ice packs, or direct pressure to reduce local soreness.

Please call one of our physiotherapists to discuss further about the effects of dry needling, and how it may help you recover from your pain and symptoms.


Simons, D.G. , Travell J.G., & Simons, L.S. (1999). Travell and Simons’ myofasical pain and dysfunction: the trigger point manual. Volume 1. Upper half of body. (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Willliams & Wilkins.

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