By Results Physiotherapy
What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is a unique and increasingly popular form of Physical Therapy that uses solid needles to treat specific trigger points in muscles that are causing pain. Trigger points are highly irritated spots in the tissue that surrounds the body’s skeletal system. They show up as nodules, or knots, in bands of muscle fibers located throughout the body. Injury, inflammation, local pain, and several other conditions could be the cause. And they’re more common than you may think—
studies show that trigger points may be the underlying cause of pain in up to 85 percent of pain-related visits to a primary care doctor.
How does Dry Needling work?
It’s called Dry Needling because no liquid goes into the body, as in the case of an injection, like a vaccination, Botox®, or hospital IV. Instead, a sturdy, solid FDA-regulated needle is used to stimulate a trigger point in the muscle and help it relax. Most of the time you’ll feel a twitch. This is good because it is the beginning of the muscle relaxing. As it relaxes, there’s less compression on the joint, nerve, or tissue that’s been causing the pain.
It may hurt a little when the needle is inserted, but that can actually be a sign the trigger point is the cause of the pain. It’s also possible the needle will help release your body’s natural pain relievers, like endorphins. This is a good sign, too, because it can mean the beginning of a new healing process in your body.
Dry Needling is not the same as acupuncture
Although they use a similar-style needle, Dry Needling and Acupuncture are different. Acupuncture is based on eastern medicine, with an emphasis on the body’s energy and possible imbalance. Dry Needling is based on western medicine, with an emphasis on bringing muscle function back to normal.
Additionally, in acupuncture, the needle usually only goes skin deep; In dry needling, the needle is inserted into the muscle to “trigger” its release.
When Does Results Prescribe Dry Needling Physical Therapy?
Dry Needling physical therapy will not replace the Results hands on approach to PT, but will be an adjunct to a patient care plan. It is another very specific tool to help reduce a patient’s pain which will then allow the patient to better tolerate their exercises and get better, faster.
To be successful at this type of therapy, the Dry Needling therapist must first and foremost be a skilled manual therapist, as the techniques require very specific palpation skills and excellent knowledge of anatomy. At Results Physiotherapy, we have therapists at the majority of our clinics who are selected and uniquely trained to perform Dry Needling therapy.
To learn more about Dry Needling and other physical therapies Results uses to get patients better, faster, visit our website at ResultsPT.com/dry-needling.
Bristol (423) 758-1048
320 Bristol West Blvd., Ste. 2A
Kingsport (423) 343-7570
444 Clinchfield St., Ste. 102
Johnson City (423) 232-8302
701 Med Tech Parkway, Ste. 301
Morristown (423) 585-5023
210 S. Cumberland St.
Johnson City Pelvic Health Specialty Clinic
2312 Knob Creek Rd, Ste. 200
For a complete list of locations and information regarding Results Physiotherapy Clinics, visit us at
If you would like individual questions answered by a senior clinician visit www.resultspt.com/ask-a-physical-therapist.