Dry needling, also known as trigger point dry needling or intramuscular manual therapy, is a technique used by qualified healthcare providers for the treatment of pain and movement impairments. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of a muscle. Physical therapists use dry needling with the goal of releasing or inactivating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion.
Preliminary research supports dry needling for pain control, reducing muscle tension, and normalizing the dysfunction of nerve signals that are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up your return to active rehabilitation and recovery (Statement from American Physical Therapy Association). Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a based on modern western medicine principles and supported by research.