What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is an invasive procedure in which the use of a fine filament needle is used to de- activate trigger points. It involves multiple advances of the needle into a trigger point, aiming to induce a local twitch response resulting in a reduction in the patient’s symptoms, a relief of muscle tension and pain.

Dry needling can be effective in the treatment of muscle tightness, shin splints, heel pain, hamstring injuries and other sporting injuries. Dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research, and it is increasingly used in the management of musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Dry needling is a safe form of acupuncture which can only be performed by qualified podiatrists with expert training.


Is the procedure painful?

Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.


Are the needles sterile?

Yes, we only use sterile disposable needles.


What side effects can I expect after the treatment?

Mild soreness is common after the procedure. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.



What should I do after having the procedure done?

Our recommendations vary depending on the amount of soreness you have and on the individual response to the treatment. Recommendations may include applying heat or ice over the area, gentle stretches and modifications of activities or analgesic medications such as paracetamol.


How long does it take for the procedure to work?

Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. Again, we are trying to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed.


I am not comfortable with needles. Do I have to have Dry Needling?

No. Before any procedure you are always informed and your consent is mandatory. 



The information in this resource is general in nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It is not a substitute for medical advice and you should always consult a trained professional practising in the area of sports medicine in relation to any injury. Or condition. You use or rely on information in this resource at your own risk and no party involved in the production of this resource accepts any responsibility for the information contained within it or your use of that information.