Dry Needling

At the Creekside Chiropractic & Performance Center, we always strive to provide the latest effective treatments within our scope of practice.  We are excited to announce that dry needling can now be performed in office.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is defined as a “skilled intervention using a thin filiform needle (typically 0.3 mm) to penetrate the skin that stimulates myofascial (muscle) trigger points, muscles, and connective tissue for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain disorders” (1). 

Is Dry Needling Safe?

While the name of the procedure may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting and often an effective technique for patients with many musculoskeletal presentations.  Clean dry needling techniques are used at Creekside Chiropractic & Performance Center, meaning that only single use pre-sterilized needles are used and never re-inserted. 

How does it work?

Dry needling affects the body by reducing pain signaling at the area of irritation, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the area, increasing healing cellular chemical concentrations, and reducing trigger point sensitivity.  Dry needling also affects how your brain receives signals from the body, which can help down-regulate pain signaling at the spinal cord and brain level. 

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain.

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine and focuses on balancing out energy known as Qi, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.

What are Dry Needling treatment goals?

Dry needling generally treats muscle, tendon, or ligament tissue and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Rather, it often is part of a broader approach incorporating other interventions into treatment including chiropractic, myofascial release, rehabilitative exercise, etc.

Can I just do dry needling?

Of course, you can get dry needling only, however the current literature suggests using it as an adjunctive tool (combined with other services) to improve it's effects.

Can dry needling help with my pain?

Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip, jaw, and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure. Dry needling is shown to be effective in treating neck and shoulder pain intensity and disability in the short-term and intermediate (2,3). Dry needling is effective and safe to incorporate into treating achilles tendonopathy or tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, and improves outcomes at 3 months (4).  


1. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)  Description of Dry Needling in Clinical Practice: An EducAtional Resource Paper.APTA; Alexandria, VA, USA: 2013.  [] [Ref list]

2.Navarro-Santana MJ, Sanchez-Infante J, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Cleland JA, Martín-Casas P, Plaza-Manzano G. Effectiveness of Dry Needling for Myofascial Trigger Points Associated with Neck Pain Symptoms: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Med. 2020;9(10):3300. Published 2020 Oct 14. doi:10.3390/jcm9103300

3. High prevalence of shoulder girdle muscles with myofascial trigger points in patients with shoulder pain. Bron C, Dommerholt J, Stegenga B, Wensing M, Oostendorp RA. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2011 Jun 28; 12():139. [PubMed] [Ref list]

4. Electrical dry needling as an adjunct to exercise, manual therapy and ultrasound for plantar fasciitis: A multi-center randomized clinical trial. Dunning Et. al. 2018 Oct 31. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205405


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