Dry needling involves inserting a fine needle, like an acupuncture needle, into the skin and muscle. Physiotherapists insert these needles into myofascial trigger points to increase range of motion, decrease pain, and increase pressure pain threshold.

While only some are open to the idea of using needles to experience these results, many physiotherapists recommend dry needling as a treatment option. You might be eager to learn more about it if there’s a chance you could enjoy these benefits:

Reduced Muscle Tension

Trained physiotherapists with specific physical therapy certifications in dry needling often recommend dry needling for reducing muscle tension. As the needle goes into a trigger point, you may feel twitching in the muscle. This can indicate that the needles are working as they should.

Known as a local twitch response, this spinal reflex involves the affected muscles contracting. The local twitch response may result in longer fiber muscles and your mechanoreceptors being stimulated.

Increased Blood Flow

If you’ve been experiencing joint pain and stiff muscles, your local physiotherapist might recommend dry needling for increased blood flow. When your muscles are contracted, you can experience local ischemia and hypoxia. Ischemia is when blood flow is restricted in some parts of the body, while hypoxia refers not to not having enough oxygen in the tissue for your bodily functions.

The art of dry needling can sometimes be helpful. The small needles cause vasodilation in the small blood vessels, which is when the vessels widen and let more blood flow through, lowering blood pressure. As a result, your muscles can often enjoy more blood flow and oxygenation.

Headache and Migraine Relief

Anyone suffering from regular headaches and migraines knows how frustrating they can be. They can stop you from enjoying everyday activities and even working. While many headache and migraine treatment options already exist, dry needling is one you may not have considered. Studies show that dry needling could be an ideal short-term therapy for pain relief, cervical range of motion, and health-related quality of life.

Fast and Easy Treatment

If you have stiff or tense muscles, you might think that ongoing physical therapy and exercises are the only way to experience even a small amount of relief. Your chosen physiotherapist might still recommend these approaches for maximum effect, but you might also notice improvements after one dry needling session.

Dry needling only takes a few minutes, and many people enjoy an improved range of motion nearly immediately. Many people also notice a near-immediate decrease in mechanical hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia describes severe pain due to disruptions in how your nervous system processes pain.

Versatile Treatment

Many unique conditions and illnesses require specific treatment to remedy them. Dry needling is a versatile treatment option that physiotherapists use for many symptoms and conditions. Your local therapist might recommend it for some of these issues:

Neck pain
Lower back pain
Tendinitis
Fibromyalgia
Headaches
Chronic injuries
Hip pain
Muscle spasms
Muscle strains

Dry needling won’t suit everyone, but it’s a worthwhile short-term treatment option for many people. If you’re curious about some of these potential benefits above, now might be the right time to talk to your local physiotherapist about dry needling.