Dry needling is a broad term used to differentiate ‘non-injection’ needling from the practice of ‘injection’ needling, which uses a hypodermic syringe and usually involves the injection of an agent such as saline, local anaesthetic or corticosteroid into the tissue or specific anatomical structures. In contrast to this, dry needling uses a solid, filament needle (as used in acupuncture), and relies on the stimulation of specific reactions in the target tissue for its therapeutic effect. Dry needling is used to treat muscle tension and injury.
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, in most cases dry needling can be used the majority of the time. It also requires less energy expenditure on behalf of the practitioner and gives equal or better outcomes than other manual techniques. If practiced correctly, there is also a remarkable absence of the ‘post-treatment tissue soreness’ often experienced following other manual therapy interventions.
Your physiotherapist will discuss the appropriateness of this treatment with you.