Putting Australia’s Health First

Dry Needling

Trigger point therapy to improve healing

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What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or near nerves in order to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions.

Not to be confused with the oriental practice of acupuncture, dry needling is being used successfully by physiotherapists who are suitably trained in this technique and has become increasingly popular over the years as a form of pain management.

What are the benefits?

Dry needling is a modern, science based intervention that can loosen stiff muscles, ease joint pain, improve blood flow and oxygen circulation within the body. This brings results for those who are trying to optimize sports performance, recover faster from injury, or prevent issues from becoming chronic.

As a modality employed by your physiotherapist as part of your overall treatment plan, dry needling can be used to treat pain and dysfunction in a range of musculoskeletal conditions such as:

  • Neck and low back pain
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Knee pain
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started with Dry Needling?

Call your local clinic today to arrange an appointment. Alternately, click here to book an appointment online.

Does dry needling hurt?

Dry needling uses very thin needles that are typically not painful. Because the needles do not contain medication, we are able to use very thin needles that are 8x smaller than those used for your vaccines with your medical doctor. While some areas may be more tender than others, dry needling typically does not cause more pain than your current symptoms.

Does dry needling make you tired?

Drowsiness, tiredness, or dizziness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients (1-3%). If this affects you, you are advised not to drive until you feel you are at your baseline.

How effective is dry needling?

Dry needling from a clinical perspective has proven to be an extremely useful tool, most notably in patients who have long-term or chronic muscle tightness that does not resolve with independent stretching or strengthening programs. Dry needling research supports its effectiveness in regards to relieving pain, muscle spasms, and muscle tightness by decreasing trigger points in the muscle.

How is dry needling different from acupuncture?

The purpose of acupuncture is to alter the flow of energy (“Qi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of pain and dysfunction. Dry needling has an anatomy-specific focus as needles will be inserted directly into the tight muscle rather than up and down the path of its energy.

How long do dry needling benefits last?

Length of relief will vary from person to person. With initial treatments, results typically last several days. With each additional treatment, the goal is that we are able to increase the window of relief with each session meaning longer relief with each additional attempt.

How long does dry needling take to work?

Although you may have some soreness after a dry needling session, you will often notice some improvement in your symptoms within 24-48 hours. Again, the intensity of this improvement will ideally increase with each additional session. As you adjust to the treatment, post-treatment soreness will tend to decrease and your results will often be more noticeable directly after your session.

How many dry needling sessions do I need?

In acute pain situations, only one session may be needed. For more chronic pain situations, it may take several treatments to notice a change. Because dry needling can have a cumulative effect if you do not notice results after the first session we typically recommend 2-3 treatments before deciding to pursue other options. We tend to start your dry needling plan at 1x/week, with the goal of increasing the length between sessions as we go along. Your physiotherapist will discuss your individualized plan of care in regards to your dry needling plan at your first session.

What we are about

Our practictioners are AHPRA registered physiotherapists

All of our physiotherapists are registered with the AHPRA and have completed post-graduate education yearly to supplement their education and knowledge for a high standard of patient care.

What we are about

Multiple clinics, same industry-leading service

Our team across all clinics locations at Health First are highly experienced and skilled in treating a wide variety of injuries. We understand that no two patients or injuries are the same. This is why we ensure every patient enjoys tailored physio treatment and is handled professionally, with the highest level of care.

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