The Pros and Cons of Dry Needling

Dry needling Nov29th 2022

Ever wonder what dry needling is? And is it even worth it? Dry needling is a safe and effective way to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. Not to be confused with acupuncture, dry needling is a physical therapy technique that, when combined with other treatments, can provide long-lasting pain relief.

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a relatively new practice in treating musculoskeletal pain. This minimally invasive therapy technique involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It is often used to treat chronic pain such as lower back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dry Needling?

Needle therapy might sound off-putting at first, but we’re here to tell you that there’s nothing to fear when it comes to dry needling. Look at our list of pros and cons to determine whether dry needling is right for you.

physician performing dry needling therapy on patient

The Pros

1. It’s Effective

Since dry needling targets specific muscles and pain points, this therapy technique is extremely effective and precise. These small needles provide relief as they enter the affected point, causing the surrounding area to relax and release tension.

2. It’s Less Invasive

One of the most attractive benefits of dry needling is that it’s a minimally invasive treatment method. This opens up the patient pool to those that may not be able to take part in other types of treatments. Most patients feel little to no discomfort when undergoing dry needling treatment.

3. It Reduces Inflammation & Improves Posture

Dry needling has been known to reduce inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, or stress fractures. It can also improve your posture.

4. It Can Be Combined With Other Treatments

What makes dry needling extremely effective is that it can work alongside different types of therapy techniques. Common treatments paired with dry needling include electrical stimulation and traditional exercise-based physical therapy.

Read More: Dry Needling vs Acupuncture: What’s The Difference?

The Cons

1. It Can Cause Bruising or Swelling

Dry needling can cause some patients to experience bruising or swelling after their session, especially for patients with blood-clotting conditions, immune system disorders, or very thin skin.

2. It May Cause Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness is a common side effect of dry needling. Dry needling can even make your body feel worse than before the treatment. It’s important to know that your body might need to learn to respond better to treatment before you start to feel the benefits.

x-ray scan of muscles

How Long Do the Benefits of Dry Needling Last?

As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons of dry needling. But how long do the benefits last? When dry needling is done correctly by a highly-trained professional, you can typically feel the benefits within one to two days after your treatment. 

Read More: Nutrition Tips to Decrease Pain & Inflammation

What Should You Not Do After Dry Needling?

Don’t stay sedentary after your dry needling treatment. It’s important to keep moving and exercise after your needling appointment to help loosen your muscles. You should also keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water over the next 24 hours.

If you have access to a bath or hot tub, you can soak in the warm water to help prevent any soreness.

Relieve Your Pain at OSR Physical Therapy

If you’re looking for an effective pain-relieving technique that allows you to get back to daily life fast, then dry needling might be for you. Our team at OSR Physical Therapy offers safe needling treatments that reduce pain and improve mobility. Stop into any one of our locations to see how dry needling can benefit your life.