Dry Needling: What is it? How does it work?


Encore Rehabilitation is proud to introduce Dry Needling to the many rehab services we provide. All of our Dry Needling Practitioners are Licensed Therapists and have received thorough training and certification in this innovative procedure.

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin monofilament needle to penetrate the skin to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connect tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.


How does dry needling work?

When a needle tip passes through the skin and hits a trigger point, a local twitch response in the muscle is often noted by both the clinician and client. Mechanical stimulation of the muscle produces this twitch response which is then followed by a dramatic reduction in muscle tension resulting in reduced pain and increased function. Dry Needling also lead to the release of endogenonous opioids and initiates healing.


Is dry needling painful?

Mild discomfort is normal response that is often short lived. Patients may experience a deep ache or referred pain which is a positive indication that the procedure is being performed correctly. Most pole do to feel the insertion of the needle.


What conditions can be treated?

  • Neck pain
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Tendinitis/tendinopathy
  • Adhesive capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Cervicogenic headaches
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Low back pain
  • Sacroliliac joint dysfunction
  • Sciatic nerve pain
  • Gluteal tendionopathy
  • Hip osteoarthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Shin splints
  • Hip bursitis


Indications for prescribing dry needling

Dry needling is most often incorporated into a treatment plan when myofascial trigger points and neuromusculoskeletal pain are present which may lead to impairments in body structure, pain, and functional limitations. Dry needling will not replace the hands-on approach or standard of care but will be an adjunct to a comprehensive plan of care. Dry needling is simply another tool to use for the purpose of reducing pain and improving function.


How many sessions of dry needling are needed?

Most patients will receive 2-3 treatments with several days in between. In most cases, patients, patients will not receive more than five treatments.


Dry Needling is covered under most insurances.


Is dry needling a safe procedure?

With proper training and knowledge of anatomy, dry needling is very safe. Encore Rehabilitation’s Dry Needling Practitioners are Licensed Therapists with thorough training and certification from The Dry Needling Institute.


How do patients feel following the dry needling procedure?

Post needling soreness is a common, normal response. Soreness may be felt at the needling site and in the surrounding areas. Fatigue, nausea, and light-headedness are a few adverse side effects that are present in 1-2% of patients. Minor bruising occurs in approximately 20% of patients but is considered normal and will resolve.


To see if Dry Needling may be right for you, please contact Encore Rehabilitation today!

Encore Rehabilitation is conveniently located throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Visit our website to view our current locations. 





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