Trigger Point Dry Needling

Dry Needling. Functional Dry Needling. Trigger Point Dry Needling. Trigger Point Therapy. It goes by many names, but the one thing it isn’t is Acupuncture. Acupuncture and Dry needling use similar tools, small, thin, solid needles, but that’s where the similarities end!

How does it work?

Dry Needling  is used to help decrease tightness in sore muscles, by inserting a needle into the trigger point or muscle “knot”. Trigger points are sensitive spots in the muscle, that can cause pain. Trigger points can decrease the blood flow and oxygen to the muscle tissue, which is what causes pain. It can also reset the neuromuscular system to help you return to the activities you enjoy without difficulty.

What happens during a Dry Needling session?

Physical therapists go to specialized training courses to become certified in Dry needling techniques. The PT will feel the muscle for the trigger points, or tight bands of muscle. Then the small needle will be inserted into the tissue. The therapist may move the needle up and down or use an electrical stimulation to get a “twitch response”. A twitch response is a controlled muscle spasm or contraction, which helps the muscle relax. The therapist may needle a few different muscles or groups in a session. The “needling” usually lasts 10-20 minutes, and then the remainder of the session is spent completing stretching and strengthening exercises to reinforce the changes made during the dry needling.

What happens after a session?

It is normal to be a little sore after a needling session. Soreness can last 24-48 hours following treatment. Some people feel relief immediately following treatment, some are sore for a day or two and then get relief, and for others it can take up to 3 sessions to feel relief. All are completely normal responses! Minor bruising may also occur. It’s important to drink plenty of water, stay active, and apply ice to decrease post-treatment soreness.

Interested in scheduling a dry needling session or finding out more information? Physical Therapy Consultants currently has 5 providers certified in Dry Needling. Call 1-888-THERAPY or visit us at to request more information or schedule an appointment.

Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT

Physical Therapy Consultants-Isanti

October 18th, 2017

Posted In: General

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