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Benefits of Dry Needling

Benefits of Dry Needling

Many people fear dry needling due to the use of needles. Contrarily, this treatment is therapeutic and safe. Trained physiotherapists are skilled in carrying out dry needling to relieve pain and improve your health.

If you feel knots anywhere in your body that are painful to touch, it is often a result of muscle tension. These points are also known as trigger points, and they restrict movement. Dry needling in Okotoks, AB, can improve symptoms and relieve such trigger points.

This article explores how dry needling benefits and risks can help athletes.  

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a modern treatment similar to acupuncture. The therapy requires tiny needles inserted into myofascial trigger points to relieve pain and improve the range of motion. Furthermore, dry needling is therapeutic and does not involve medication use.

What is Dry Needling With Electrical Stimulation?

Dry needling with electrical stimulation is different from the basic dry needling technique. Dry needling in itself is an effective treatment. However, electrical stimulation accelerates pain relief during the treatment. Usually, your physiotherapist will place electrodes around the needle to transfer low-frequency electric current.

Dry needling with electrical stimulation stimulates larger nerve fibers to reduce the pain caused by the smaller nerves. The benefits of dry needling with electrical stimulation include increasing blood flow, stimulating the body’s analgesic effects, and healing inflammation.

What Are the Benefits of Dry Needling?

Dry needling benefits in Okotoks, AB, include;

Accelerating the Body’s Natural Healing Process

The body naturally heals itself by releasing natural pain relievers like endorphins. In addition, the cells replicate to replace damaged cells during the healing process. Unfortunately, infection and age can slow down this healing process.

However, with dry needling treatment, the trigger points in the body relax to reduce inflammation, boost blood flow, and trigger the body’s healing response.

Reducing Muscle Tension

Muscle tension occurs when one or more muscles are contracted for a prolonged period. These contractions form lumps or knots you can feel when touching the area. You may also feel pain, soreness, and overall stiffness in the affected area.

Your physiotherapist inserts thin needles in these lumps during a dry needling treatment. The needles produce a twitch response when they pierce and relax the knots.

Improving Blood Flow

Another benefit of dry-needling physiotherapy is that it improves blood flow. Narrow blood vessels, untreated blood clots, and high blood pressure affect circulation. Reduced blood flow leads to numbness, pain, and tingling in different body parts, including the hands and feet.

Dry needling improves blood flow by relaxing the muscles in the affected area. This treatment thus reduces pain and stimulates blood and oxygen circulation in the body.

Improving Range Of Motion

Pain, stiffness, and swelling can reduce the range of motion. In addition, trigger points can cause muscle weakness, decreasing blood flow.

Dry needling therapy restores function and improves range of motion. Consequently, this treatment is especially suitable for athletes and people with physical disabilities.

Improving Chronic Pain Conditions

Musculoskeletal conditions like tendinitis, rotator cuff pain, temporomandibular pain (TMJ), and fibromyalgia benefit from dry needling. These conditions cause widespread pain that reduces mobility and leads to trigger points.

Patients with these conditions can get dry-needling therapy to relieve pain and speed healing at Dynamic Physiotherapy.

Who Needs Dry Needing Therapy?

Dry needling is excellent for treating musculoskeletal problems and other conditions, including;

  • Disk problems
  • Pelvic pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Myofascial pain
  • Joint problems
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Spinal issues
  • Tennis elbow

Benefits of Dry Needling for Runners

Athletes, including runners, prefer dry needling to other treatments because it relieves pain without medication. The treatment technique is also part of a physiotherapy program to nurse athletes back to health, especially after an injury.

Besides injuries, running miles result in muscle overuse, causing pain and fatigue. This results in tight muscles and trigger points that affect runs and can cause plantar fasciitis. Other running-related injuries include hamstring strain, Achilles tendonitis, IT band syndrome, and strained calves and quads.

The most significant benefit of dry needling for runners is that it helps to relieve pain and stimulate the regeneration of cells in the injured area for a speedy recovery. In addition, there is no need for extensive treatment. Instead, a single session at Dynamic Physiotherapy can restore function and alleviate pain. Nevertheless, many patients may need multiple sessions for maximum benefit.

Does Dry Needling Have Side Effects?

Yes, dry needling has its risks. Some potential dry-needling risks include;

Bruising Or Bleeding

Because the needle creates a minor puncture on the skin, there is a risk of bruising or bleeding at the injection site. This side effect is rare and only likely to occur in patients with blood vessel disorders or who are taking blood thinners.

Short-Term Increase in Pain

Although dry needling relieves pain, you may feel sore during or after the procedure. Usually, this discomfort wears off within a day or two with gentle stretching and massage.


Some patients faint during a dry needling session. This risk is prevalent in people who are hungry or dehydrated before the procedure. Low blood pressure, inactivity, and fatigue also increase the risk of fainting during a dry needling session.

Skin Reactions

Another risk of dry needling is small red spots at the insertion site. Usually, this resolves itself within a few minutes to a few hours.

What to Expect During a Dry Needling Session

A dry needling session starts with the insertion of an unmedicated needle into the tissue of the muscle. This needle is usually sterilized to reduce the risk of infection. The needle causes micro-tears, prompting the body to release its healing properties. The needle also causes a twitch response to decrease muscle tension and reduce pain.

A typical dry needling session may take up to 30 minutes. Your physiotherapist in Okotoks will leave the inserted needles in for that time. After removing the needles, your physiotherapist will dispose of the needles and examine your skin for any reaction.

It is essential to drink plenty of water after your treatment to stay hydrated. Also, if you experience increased muscle soreness, it is normal and may last for a day or two. However, it is essential to keep moving during this period.

What Areas Can You Get Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a safe technique for alleviating pain in several body parts. The most popular body parts for dry needling include;


Although the hip can withstand repeated motions, it is not indestructible. Arthritis, age, fractures, and strain can cause pain, inflammation, and irritation. Steroid injections are one of the treatments for hip pain. Unfortunately, it can cause certain adverse effects.

On the other hand, dry needling produces similar results as a corticosteroid injection but with lower risk. Physiotherapists use dry needling as part of a treatment program to treat hip pain and restore mobility.


Poor posture and osteoarthritis can cause muscle tightness and spasms in the neck, resulting in headaches and reduced head mobility. Depending on the severity of the pain, medications, physiotherapy, and surgery are treatments for neck pain.

Nevertheless, dry needling effectively reduces pain and lowers the need for pain-relief medications. The treatment also releases tension in the neck tissues, muscles, and surrounding structures. In addition, dry needling and other treatments like manual therapy and physiotherapy exercises improve mobility and reduce stiffness.


Knee pain is prevalent across all ages. Injuries, disease, and dislocation are common causes of knee pain. In addition, you may experience popping or crunching noises, swelling and stiffness, and inability to bear weight on your knee if you have knee pain. Dry needling is a suitable treatment for knee pain.

Usually, the treatment stimulates the joint and increases blood flow. Although the insertion of the needles around the knee may feel uncomfortable, it is not painful. Dry needling around the knee is especially suitable for patients with osteoarthritis awaiting joint replacement surgery. In addition, this treatment is often used as part of a physiotherapy program as we do at Dynamic Physiotherapy to reduce pain, boost recovery, and reduce downtime.


Shoulder pain often results from injuries, dislocation, disease, and overuse. Dry needling is also commonly used to treat shoulder pain. This treatment relieves pain and discomfort to improve your range of motion.


Dry needling is also beneficial for the face to regenerate the skin and give a more youthful look. You can get dry needling on areas of your face with unhealthy skin. For instance, dry needling is excellent for you if you have fine lines, scarring, wrinkles, or burns.

During a dry needling session, your physiotherapist will insert thin needles into the treatment area to trigger healing. The facial skin then stimulates collagen and elastin production to begin its regeneration process.

Another benefit of needling on the face is that it softens your skin, making it supple. Usually, you should see the results of treatment after one session.


Like any other medical procedure, dry needling has its benefits and risks. However, the risks are rare, and in many cases, the benefits outweigh the risks. Many patients prefer dry needling in Okotoks because the physiotherapists are highly trained, and the treatment is safe.

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