Triggering More Normal Muscle Action and Better Pain Relief

Dry Needling

An advantage in the physical therapy treatment of back pain, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and more . . .
Certified Therapists
Our team expertise includes physical therapists certified in the use of dry needling. In dry needling, the physical therapist inserts very fine needles into trigger points or superficially over trigger points. Trigger points are essentially painful knots in your muscles. These knots cause the muscles to stay tight, cause pain, cause postural imbalances, and hinder the progress of normal therapeutic exercise and stretching. The dry needling technique efficiently deactivates the trigger points, allowing for more normal muscle action and better pain relief. Trigger points in skeletal muscles are a very common component of most pain complaints, but this important stumbling block too often goes unaddressed in diagnosis and treatment planning. At Primary Spine & Rehab, we assess for and treat trigger points directly as part of the overall physical therapy treatment plan, to ensure optimal therapy results.

The Science
The dry needling technique has encouraging support in the scientific literature. From 1994 to 2007, one systematic review and multiple randomized controlled trials concluded that dry needling achieves pain relief comparable to injections of anesthesia such as lidocaine.1-4 But dry needling does not use any chemicals. It works only from your body's own natural response to the strategic placement of very fine needles. A Chochrane review of 35 randomized, controlled trials published in peer review journals concludes that dry needling appears to enhance normal physical therapy strategies to overcome back pain.5

Dry needling has been found useful as part of physical therapy plans for:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Lateral Epicondylalgia - Tennis Elbow
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Chronic Whiplash Associated Disorders
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Hamstring Strains
  • Hemiparetic Shoulder Pain
  1. Cummings T, White A. Needling therapies in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001; 82: 986-92.
  2. Ga H, Choi J, Park C, Yooh H. Acupuncture needling versus lidocaine injection of trigger points in myofascial pain syndrome in elderly patients - a randomised trial. Acupunct Med. 2007; 25: 130-6.
  3. Barbagli P, Bollettin R, Ceccherelli F. Acupuncture (dry needle) versus neural therapy (local anesthesia) in the treatment of benign back pain. Immediate and long-term results. Minerva Med. 2003; 94: 17-25.
  4. Hong C. Lidocaine injection versus dry needling to myofascial trigger point. The importance of the local twitch response. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1994; 73: 256-63.
  5. Furlan A, van Tulder M, Cherkin D, Acupuncture and dry needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Review. 2005; (1): CD001351.