What is Dry Needling?

While the name of the procedure may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. 

Dry needling is a treatment technique often used by physiotherapists to relieve pain. It requires using a sterile acupuncture needle inserted through the skin into muscles, tendons, ligaments, and/or close to nerves to immediately reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and increase mobility.

It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Different practitioners perform dry needling with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluates pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.

Dry needling treats muscle tissue; its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Instead, it often is part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy interventions into treatment.

Dry needling can be used for various musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain.

The Saskatoon Physiotherapists at E3 are trained in dry needling and use it daily to help their patients get out of pain. 

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