What is Dry Needling?


Dry Needling involves multiple advances of an acupuncture-type needle into the ‘trigger point’ of the muscle. The aim is to achieve a twitch in the muscle, which is associated with reduced muscle tension and pain.

​​How does Dry Needling help?

Dry Needling helps to reduce pressure on nerves by releasing shortened muscle. It is now well researched that the ‘twitch’ response in the muscle during dry needling is associated with the muscle relaxing and stopping the pull on adjacent areas.

What will I experience?

Initially the Practitioner will briefly massage the target muscle searching for taught bands and tender areas aka ‘trigger points’. The needle then used is very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. If the muscle being needled is very tight and/or sensitive you will feel a cramping or twitch sensation. This is very short-lasting, and patients quickly learn to recognise this sensation as therapeutic as it is followed by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your clinician will instruct you on how to minimise this. There are other less common side effects such as bruising. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your clinician.

How often will I need treatment?

Treatments are typically once a week, to allow enough recovery time between treatment sessions. However, this can vary. The number of treatments you will require will depend on many things, such as:

  • How long you have had your problem
  • The extent of your problem
  • How long it takes to address the contributing factors
  • How quickly your body can heal

Are there any contraindications to Dry Needling?

Prior to treatment please inform your clinician if you are pregnant, or have any of the following:

  • Metal allergies
  • Local infection
  • Bleeding disorders or use anti-coagulants (eg. aspirin)
  • Axillary or inguinal node dissection
  • Joint replacements, implants or a pacemaker
  • Needle phobia

At Rural Health, our Podiatrists are certified by GEMt in application of Dry Needling within the lower limb. For further information about Dry Needling, how it may help you, or to book a consult with our Podiatrists phone 02 5926 3806​.

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