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Dry Needling

Dry Needling

A technique to treat myofascial pain and assist in your recovery


Dry Needling is a treatment technique that is performed by a regulated health professional (in this case, Physiotherapist) with the goal of decreasing pain and increasing mobility- Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by trigger points in muscles. These trigger points can develop as a result of injury or overuse, and can cause referred pain to other areas of the body. The goal of dry needling is to elicit a local twitch response from the trigger points, which relaxes muscle fibres and helps to decrease pain. This can result in improved range of motion at the affected joints, and contribute to better treatment outcomes.

How is dry needling performed? 

Using a clean technique,acupuncture needles are inserted directly into trigger points. The clinician will gently piston the needle around the trigger point. Once the clinician is satisfied with the response, they will remove the needle and move on to a different area.

What does dry needling feel like? 

You may feel an ache or some mild discomfort in the area where the needle is placed. You will also likely feel your muscle twitch involuntarily when the trigger point is released by the needle. After the dry needling, you may feel some soreness, but this can be minimized with light stretching and heat application as directed by your health care professional. Within 24 hours, you should notice some improvement in the symptoms you were experiencing prior to your dry needling session.

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture? 

The techniques and theories of dry needling differ from Acupuncture, though the same style of needle is used for both treatments. Acupuncture is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, whereas Dry Needling follows a medical-anatomical approach to treating pain and dysfunction.

Is there an extra cost?

No, the cost of the dry needling treatment is built into the price of your physiotherapy session at New Horizons Rehabilitation.

Is Dry needling safe? 

When performed correctly, there is minimal risk of adverse outcomes following dry needling. Your healthcare provider will review the risks and benefits of performing the treatment with you, discuss how they will minimize the risks, and make sure you provide informed consent before they perform any dry needling. 


It is important to note that Dry needling should not be considered the only treatment for myofascial pain or dysfunction. Dry needling is one part of a treatment plan that is only administered after an individualized assessment to determine that it's an appropriate treatment. Your Physiotherapist will also provide you with a home exercise program to improve your flexibility and strength to address the root causes of your concerns.


If you're interested in trying Dry Needling, contact us at New Horizons Rehab and speak to Alex, one of our registered Physiotherapists. Alex has completed her Level 1 Dry Needling Course through Acupuncture Canada and is able to perform dry needling on muscles of the shoulder and muscles of the lower extremity. She's happy to chat with you to see if this technique is right for you!

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