Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis - (2022)

Are You In Pain Dry Needling Can Help You Find Relief

Dry Needling on Myself! How does it work and what is it?

Did you know dry needling is beneficial and pain free?

Dry needling is a safe and effective method of treatment provided at Skillz Physical Therapy to reduce pain and muscle tension, while simultaneously improving mobility.

It has been proven to treat numerous musculoskeletal issues, including acute and chronic injuries, overuse injuries, neck pain, headaches, back pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, muscle strains, tendinitis, knee pain, hip pain, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, and more.

If you are in Evanston, IL looking for relief, or if youd like to gain more information on how dry needling could benefit you, request an appointment at Skillz Physical Therapy today!

Is Dry Needling Another Name For Acupuncture

Dry needling is used for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Developed by Dr. Chan Gunn, dry needling also called intramuscular stimulation is a treatment method that offers relief for overactive muscles and their corresponding trigger points. Although the term needles the muscles trigger points, no substance is injected. Dry needling is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles, but is not the same as the Traditional Chinese Medicine technique of acupuncture. Since the same filament needles are used in both dry needling and acupuncture, it is understandable while confusion occurs between the two treatment methods, but they are not the same.

How Many Needles Will I Need

We like to start slowly during the first session to give you a feel for the technique. The first session will focus on a few muscles that are key to your problems. These key areas can give you excellent relief with less soreness. Subsequent treatments will target more specific areas to fine-tune the effect. Sessions are usually spaced 5-7 days apart and you should expect to feel a marked difference after only 2 or 3 sessions.

Recommended Reading: Can You Stop Rheumatoid Arthritis From Progressing

Who Can Benefit From Dry Needling

hover background

If youve been suffering with any type of chronic pain that wont go away, you now have a new option in your journey to health and wellness to combat the pain. Dry needling might be the solution for you. Here, we will outline some common conditions that dry needling can help, and let you know who can benefit from dry needling. Well also help answer briefly what it is.

Dry needling is a procedure where filament needles are injected in a persons trigger points. The trigger points that are in different muscles on the body respond to the pressure from the needles. These muscles discharge muscle pressure when triggered by a needle, assisting to lower the pain a person is feeling. The relaxation of muscles is additionally induced by allowing pressure on some pressure points.

Overuse, injury, stress or bad posture can all cause areas of pain in our body that can be described as trigger points or knots. Dry needling focuses treatment on these trigger points, causing the muscle to respond, release and is often accompanied by a relief in pain.

Who Can Benefit From Dry Needling

Here are some common conditions that dry needling can help:

(Video) Study Aims to get to the Point of Dry Needling for Knee Pain

Tension Headaches

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Reducing Pain

Additionally, those who can benefit from dry needling include people suffering with:

  • Neck pain

How Does It Work

Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis - (1)

Dry Needling for arthritis using dry needling is meant to address the existing pain from arthritis and reducing swelling and stiffness. Our needles are placed into the area of the body that are suffering from arthritis such as the neck, back, and hands.

The needles have no medication, and it is not an injection. We insert the needle into the muscles known as trigger points to target the tissues that are affected by arthritis. They work to eliminate pain, reduce tension, and relieve irritation of the area, making your life easier.

Recommended Reading: What Foods Help Reduce Arthritis Pain

What Is The Difference Between Acupuncture And Dry Needling

There are obvious similarities between dry needling and acupuncture in that the needles used are identical. Generally dry needling is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles, which are not to be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine technique of acupuncture.

TCM is based on the use of pulses, coatings and meridians derived from ancient Chinese philosophy and culture, with traditional acupuncture needles inserted into defined acupoints, intended to unblock energy meridians and help create balance within bodily systems. Advocates of traditional acupuncture promote its use for treating a range of physical and psychological problems.

Unlike the specific tissue targets used in dry needling, acupoints do not necessarily match our understanding of anatomy and the proposed treatment mechanism is largely inconsistent with modern medical science.

Modern dry needling is based on current medical science and research known and accepted by todays primary care, orthopaedic, neurologic and pain management physicians. However, the positive effect on pain of inserting a needle is likely to be similar, whether administered as part of a dry needling or acupuncture treatment.

(Video) Dry needling- how does it differ from acupuncture? What is it used for?

Free Dry Needling Consultation

If you are suffering from muscle or joint pain, the team at the can develop a treatment plan for you. They will be able to determine if dry needle therapy is right for you. The works with patients in the Broomfield and Westminster areas, and accepts most insurance plans. Call today at 507-0080 to schedule your free consultation.


You May Like: What Are Usually The First Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Much Does Dry Needling Cost

Before booking an appointment for dry needling, people should contact their insurance company to see if the treatment is covered and, if so, what the company needs to process the claim. The insurance company may also have a list of approved, or in-network practitioners. The price for dry needling sessions varies according to practitioner. Some charge about $40 to $60 per session, others as low as $15 per session.

Usually, people receiving dry needling attend between 3 to 6 sessions. More sessions may be necessary, depending on the pain and responses to the therapy.

The practitioner may offer a value pack of multiple sessions, which can be helpful in the absence of insurance coverage. They may also charge a reduced rate for clients without medical insurance or dry needling coverage.

How Does Dry Needling Help With Rehabilitation

What to do after dry needling

The goal of dry needling is to amplify the nervous system response to a stimulus to set in motion the necessary reactions for healing. Neurochemicals, such as Endorphins and Corticosteroids, are released the immune system brings white blood cells to the injured area, and red blood cells carrying oxygen and nutrients run to the site . Dry needling relaxes contracted muscles. Much of the pain and dysfunction of a muscle is due to a muscle spasm that needs to stop. Dry needling can eliminate the pain and dysfunction of the trigger point by inhibiting the spasm or causing it to stop entirely.

Read Also: Is Red Meat Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Little More About These Causes Of Medial Knee Pain

  • Meniscus irritation or tear is when you damage the meniscus, a cartilaginous structure between your upper leg and lower leg that keeps your knee in place. These are classified based on how and where they tear. A knee meniscus can tear can be minor, or major to where it restricts you from bending your knee.
  • Medial collateral ligament sprain is when you have some degree of tear in the main supporting ligament on the inside of your knee. This ligament provides support to the inside of your knee and is one of the structures that prevent your knee from collapsing inwards. MCL sprains are graded based on severity from minor trauma to a complete tear of the MCL which may cause instability in your knee.
  • Quadriceps tendinopathy is when you have tendon damage where your quadriceps muscles attach at the inside of your knee. The damage involves micro-tears in the tendon and the tendon has an inability to heal itself completely. Its essentially getting re-injured over and over.

Is knee osteoarthritis the cause of your medial knee pain? See this content I wrote about acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis > Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis

How Will I Feel After Dry Needling

You will know positive change has occurred right after the session, as you should have decreased pain and increased mobility and because you will be sore in the way that you would feel after a heavy work out. The muscle will feel fatigued, and the soreness can last from a few hours to 1 or 2 days, but should not interfere with your everyday activities. We encourage you to be active during this time to keep the soreness to a minimum. You can continue your normal activities and gym routine. After a day or so, youll experience a new and lasting feeling of less pain and tightness. The injury and pain you thought was there to stay will actually start to diminish. If youve been having long standing, chronic muscle pain wed welcome the opportunity to explain this treatment option in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

Connect With Us!

Read Also: What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Manual Physical Therapy Can Help Rheumatology Patients

Throughout human history, we have used our hands as a tool to survive, create, offer, communicate, heal, and comfort others. As physician and writer Abraham Verghese said, Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Though many different professions provide hands-on treatment, the following article will discuss specific, evidence-based manual therapy techniques that physical therapists can offer your patients. When a physician refers a patient to physical therapy , manual therapy will likely be a part of their treatment, as human touch is a crucial component in the PT treatment philosophy and approach. The common manual therapy techniques that will be discussed include functional dry needling , specific soft-tissue mobilizations , myofascial release , muscle energy techniques , and joint mobilization and manipulation. This article will provide knowledge regarding the benefits of manual therapy techniques that PTs perform, help you gain understanding of the principles and physiology behind each technique, and provide evidence to support each technique.

(Video) What is Dry Needling? Does it Hurt? Is it Acupuncture?

Can Dry Needling Help You

Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis - (2)

by Dr Riley Irving

Dry needling is a procedure used to treat trigger points in muscles. Trigger points are tight knots in a muscle that can be painful and reduce the function of a muscle. Certain trigger points can have a referred pain and correlation with areas in the foot.An extremely thin needle is used to penetrates through the skin to reach these trigger points and release the knot, which can essentially reduce symptoms and increase muscle function. No local anaesthetic is needed during the treatment, as it is often painless. Many people may associate dry needling and acupuncture as the same procedure. The ideologies and training for dry needling and acupuncture are quite separate. For qualified Podiatrists to practice dry needling, further education and training is required outside of their University degree.

A recent randomized control study found that dry needling of myofascial trigger points was effective in the treatment of plantar heel pain compared to sham dry needling . This Study demonstrates that dry needling can be used as the sole intervention however, dry needling can also be utilized to complement other treatments. For example, it may be used to reduce the tightness in a muscle to allow for a more efficient stretching program.

Benefits of dry needling:

You May Like: What Helps Lower Back Arthritis

Your Top 6 Dry Needling Questions Answered

Dry needling is a technique that is fast gaining appreciation within the physiotherapy world, with many practitioners throughout Australia now trained in the use of acupuncture needles to assist with their clients pain and rehabilitation. I found myself interested in dry needling and its application from an early stage in my physiotherapy career, and have undertaken dry needling courses and have also undertaken formal postgraduate training in musculoskeletal acupuncture.

In this blog article I wanted to answer common questions about dry needling, including:

1. What is dry needling?2. What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?3. How does dry needling work?4. What will I feel during my dry needling session?5. Is dry needling safe?6. Where does dry needling fit into my rehabilitation plan?

Who Should Not Have Dry Needling Treatments

  • Pregnant women
  • People who are not able to understand the treatment
  • People who are very afraid of needles

Any patient who is considering dry needling should consult his or her doctor first. This is particularly true for people taking blood thinners and people who are only recently recovering from surgery.

Recommended Reading: Is Tens Good For Arthritis

Risks And Side Effects Of Dry Needling

Although there may be some side effects after a dry needling session, complications are rare. Side effects may include:

  • Sore muscles, which may be immediate or a few hours after the session. A warm compress for 20 minutes several times a day can help soothe the area.

  • Bruising

    (Video) Dry needling - common points of the lower limb

  • Temporary increase in the pain symptoms that the needling is meant to treat

The very rare complication associated with dry needling occurs if the needle is inserted far enough to puncture an organ, such as a lung.

Where Does Dry Needling Fit Into My Rehabilitation Plan

Dry Needling really, what is it? How does it work?

Dry needling is the modality of choice when it comes to treating acute injuries, muscle spasms or muscle pattern imbalances. It is very common to initiate dry needling at the beginning of your treatment program in order to break the pain cycle. Once that is achieved, other treatment options are introduced.

Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place, as the needling is looking to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed.

While dry needling can be very useful in relieving pain it does not necessarily address the source of the pain. For example, someone with advanced osteoarthritis of the hip or knee may have associated secondary muscular pain as the muscles compensate to avoid movement related with pain. Dry needling can be valuable in relieving the pain but it will not reverse the osteoarthritic alterations in the hip that are the source of the muscular pain.

The benefits of Dry Needling frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.

See this video from the Hawthorn Hawkes of a player undertaking a dry needling session with their physiotherapist.

Don’t Miss: How Does Arthritis Feel In Your Hands

Dry Needling: The Most Painful Thing Ive Ever Loved

Imagine you have pockets of a highly pressurized, toxic gas caught in your shoulders. Now imagine these painful pockets keep growing in size, every hour of the day, inflaming your muscles and pinching your nerves. And, as a result youre miserable grasping to keep your sanity.

Then imagine you find a medical professional willing to puncture your skin and release all that painful pressure after which some soreness remains, although it’s nothing compared to the blessed relief youre now feeling.

That procedure, dry needling, is what works best for me and the painful spasms that course through my shoulders. The needles deflate my muscle spasms, which feels like air rushing out of an overfilled balloon. It is, without a doubt, the most painful thing I’ve ever loved.

Prior to my relationship with dry needling, I had an on-again-off-again fling with trigger point injections. These injections provided six to eight weeks of relief. But the liquid injected contains a steroid, so the injections weren’t a viable long-term plan. Because what Im dealing with is a long-term problem, my shoulders and I moved on to dry needling, which involves no injections, just a bit of brutal poking.

What You Need To Know About Dry Needling For Low Back Pain

    Myofascial trigger points are among the most common forms of low back pain. When activated, these tender and stiff knots of bundled spinal muscles can reduce your range of motion and cause referred painthat is, pain that spreadssuch as from your low back into one or more areas of the hip, groin, abdominal, gluteus muscles, tailbone, and/or thigh. An emerging treatment for trigger points is dry needling, and research published in 2018 said this manual technique may effectively treat trigger point-related low back pain when coupled with other therapies.1

    (Video) 8 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRINKS | to enjoy for health & wellness

    Recommended Reading: How To Help Arthritis In Your Hands

    Highlights From The Research Paper On Dry Needling Pain Relief And Arthritis Includes:

    • Double blind randomized controlled study
    • Purpose of the study to determine the short-term effects of dry needling on pain, hip ROM and physical function in patients with hip osteoarthritis
    • 30 patients involved in the research project
    • Over the course of three sessions, dry needling was applied to the active muscle trigger points of the iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae latae and gluteus minimus muscles
    • These muscles are all major hip stabilizers
  • Pain intensity, passive hip range of motion, and physical function were assessed at baseline and after the three treatment sessions
  • Following three dry needling sessions, the results demonstrated a decreased pain intensity, increased hip range of motion, and improved physical function following the treatments
  • These improvements were statistically significant compared to the sham group which experienced an increased pain intensity and decreased hip range of motion following their fake treatments
  • The researchers concluded, Pain, hip range of motion, and physical function improved after the application of dry needling in active muscle trigger points of the hip muscles in patients with hip osteoarthritis.
  • FAQs

    Does dry needling help arthritis? ›

    Dry needling is an effective treatment in reducing pain from osteoarthritis because it increases blood circulation around the joint, thereby providing natural relief.

    Does dry needling reduce inflammation? ›

    Dry needling can help reduce pain and soreness.

    A specially trained physical therapist uses a thin needle to release muscle tightness, ease tendonitis and inflammation, and/or promote healing.

    What is dry needling most effective for? ›

    Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.

    What conditions are treated with dry needling? ›

    What kinds of pain does dry needling treat?
    • Joint problems.
    • Disk problems.
    • Tendinitis.
    • Migraine and tension-type headaches.
    • Jaw and mouth problems (such as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD)
    • Whiplash.
    • Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
    • Spinal problems.
    Jan 8, 2018

    How long does dry needling results last? ›

    How long do the results last? Most patients experience an immediate improvement in functionality and mobility after a dry needling treatment and will feel less pain within the first 24 hours. After undergoing 2 or 3 sessions one time per week you will usually feel the lasting positive effects of dry needle therapy.

    How often should dry needling be done? ›

    Sessions are usually spaced 5-7 days apart and you should expect to feel a marked difference after only 2 or 3 sessions.

    What happens when dry needling hits a nerve? ›

    Cyr said dry needling releases muscle tension, by causing tight muscles to twitch – or cramp – and then relax. “When you get the twitch response,” she said, “science has shown that will change the biochemical makeup of that trigger point to make it much less irritable.”

    Does dry needling work for knee pain? ›

    A lesser-known treatment option for knee OA is dry needling therapy. Increasing evidence has shown this procedure to be effective in reducing pain and disability in the osteoarthritic knee, and studies have shown it can increase arterial pressure around the knee by up to 40%.

    Is dry needling good for hip pain? ›


    Dry needling is as effective as cortisone injection in reducing pain and improving movement problems caused by this condition.

    Does dry needling work for knees? ›

    Benefits of Dry Needling

    Dry needling inactivates trigger points which can restore normal muscle function, alleviate pain, and improve mobility! This practice commonly helps to alleviate neck pain, back pain, and knee pain. It can even help to relieve symptoms from TMJ or tension headaches.


    1. From Headaches to Chronic Pain: Managing Pain With Dry Needling
    (Milford Regional Medical Center)
    2. Dry Needling Twitch Response Gluteal Muscles and Lumbar Muscles
    (Jason Williams DC Chiropractic and Rehab)
    3. Dry Needling for Shoulder and Lower Neck Pain
    (Dr. Kevin Brown)
    4. Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment | Dry Needling For Knee Pain
    (Dr.Anindya Samanta)
    5. 7 Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises for Hand & Leg
    (Sunit PhysioTherapist)
    6. Acupuncture - Personal Health & Fitness TV
    (Free Fitness Videos)

    Top Articles

    Latest Posts

    Article information

    Author: Carmelo Roob

    Last Updated: 12/11/2022

    Views: 5915

    Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

    Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Carmelo Roob

    Birthday: 1995-01-09

    Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

    Phone: +6773780339780

    Job: Sales Executive

    Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

    Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.