What is Dry Needling?

The practice of Myofascial Dry Needling (MDNT) now involves the insertion of fine filiform needles similar to those used in acupuncture therapy.

The purpose of MDNT is solely to deactivate Trigger points thereby alleviating the pain associated with an active Trigger points. No matter the location of the pain i.e.;

  • Neck

  • Shoulder

  • Wrist

  • Upper back

  • Mid back

  • Lower back

  • Glute

  • Quad

  • Hamstring

  • Calf


MDNT is simply one of many treatment options used by Remedial and Musculoskeletal Therapy practitioners in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Even to assist in the healing process of chronic to acute injuries such as:

  • Tendinopathy / Tendonitis (Golfers elbow & Tennis Elbow)

  • Bursitis

  • Arthritis

  • Disc Bulge / Annular Tears

  • Muscle Strains / Muscle Tears

  • Ligaments strains / Ligament Tears

  • Scar Tissue Removal

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Ankle pain / strains

  • Less abdominal bloating

  • Reduced period pain and cramping

  • Decreased abdominal muscle cramps and spasms

  • Lower back tension


* Trigger point= is a highly irritable localized spot of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in a palpable taut band of (skeletal) muscle. - Drs. Janet Travell & David Simons (1993)

What to expect

When the sterile single use needle is inserted, sometimes a cramp-like sensation is felt. It can be sometimes followed by a slight muscular twitch, which is usually the deactivation of the trigger point. And can feel the release of tension or pain from the local area.

Benefits / Side Effects

Depending on some clients and their case severity they may experience:

  • Slight dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Fainting

  • Bruising

Which normally resolve within 24 – 48 hours.

Once a client has completed a session, they may experience the following:

  • Increased Mobility

  • Feeling or relaxation

  • Muscle Fatigue / Soreness

  • Reduced pain

And they may also find that the effect is lasting.


  • Dr C Chan Gunn (1989) is another advocate of deep dry needling


“Gunn completed extensive research in collaboration with the Canadian workers compensation board and provided results indicating the efficacy of MDN in treating the acute and chronic pain experienced by injured mine workers”

(Filshie, J., & White, A. 1998: 39/ Baldry, P. 2005: 131)

  • The first physician to extensively employ was Karel Lewit of Czechoslovakia (1979)

  • Jaeger and Skootsky extensively tested and also employ dry needling (1987)

  • All three have stressed that the effectiveness of the method is dependenton needling of the point deeply within the muscle (DDN)

(Filshie, J., & White, A. 1998: 39)


  • One of the studies called “The Cochrane Collaboration (2011)”; Dry-needling appears to be a useful adjunct to other therapies for chronic low-back pain. It also states the combination of manual therapies plus needling provides an improved effect in alleviating pain compared to a single modality approach...




  • Baldry, P. (2005). (3rd ed. ed.). Edinburgh ; New York: Churchill Livingstone.

  • Filshie, J., & White, A. (1998). . Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

  • Marcus, A. (2004). . Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books.


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