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How Dry Needling Works?

How Dry Needling Works?

Dry needling is widely used by practitioners and chiropractors for decades where a single-use, solid filament needle is inserted into the muscle to treat muscle ache and pain. This treatment of dry needling focuses on improving tissue or muscle healing and restores the function of the muscle. When dry needling is combined with conventional treatment options, it can be an influential method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function. Dry needling assists with decreasing local muscular pain and improve function by restoring a muscle’s natural ability to lengthen and shorten by releasing myofascial trigger points.

dry needling

What are myofascial trigger points?

Myofascial trigger points, also known as a knot in your muscle, is a group of muscle fibres that shortened when contracted but did not lengthen when relaxed. This means that the muscle is overactive and sore to touch.

The myofascial trigger point develops a sensitive nodule in the muscle where you can feel the spot as a small lump (muscle knot). In addition to this nodule, the remainder of the muscle also tightens to compensate.

This hypersensitivity occurs as the muscle fibres become so tight that they compress the capillaries and nerves that supply them. As a result, the muscle cannot frequently move, obtain a fresh blood supply containing oxygen and nutrients, or flush out additional acidic chemicals. The presence of a myofascial trigger points in a muscle can led to discomfort with touch, movement and stretching, decreased joint motion, and even a temporary loss of coordination.

dry needling

What causes myofascial trigger points?

Trauma to the muscle

  • Direct blow to the muscle
  • Sudden strain injury

Prolonged immobilisation

  • Keeping muscle still for a long period of time like prolonged sitting or standing. Sitting at a desk or on a plane for longer than 3 hours.

Unaccustomed activities

  • Doing stuff that muscles are not use to such as moving house when you need to move heavy boxes or furniture
  • Changes in regular activity like increase in number or intensity of the training session

What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

Even though both dry needling and acupuncture uses the same needle, the theory behind on how and why the method works is different. Dry needling primarily focus is reducing muscle pain and restore function of the muscle. On the other hand, acupuncture focus on restoring the free flow of energy (Qi) in the body by inserting the needles into critical points or channels (Meridians) in the body. This free flow of Qi creates balance within body system and allows the balance between Yin and Yang.

Since acupuncture does not target specific tissue or muscles, it is not necessarily matched on the understanding of anatomy for dry needling and the proposed treatment is largely inconsistent with the modern medical science.

What will you feel during dry needling treatment?

Since we are using very thin filament needles, the initial feeling of needle entering through the skin is very minimal (much lesser than an injection or having blood drawn).

Once the needle is in the muscle, you might feel a twitch sensation or like a deep cramp. This happens because the needle directly stimulates a myofascial trigger point.

What to expect after dry needling treatment?

After the treatment, your muscle will feel sore and fatigue (commonly known as needle soreness) and it will last for 1-2 days. But rest assure! This will not interfere your daily activities.

Is dry needling safe?

Everyone has different opinion or perspective on various treatment technique, including dry needling. This is a safe procedure as we use single-use, individually packaged needle, and dispose after use. Other than feeling soreness in the treated area and referral zone, side effects rarely occur.

dry needling
dry needling

When do you need dry needling?

Dry needling treatment technique is introduced when

  • Releasing myofascial trigger points (muscle knots)
  • Assist in pain management
  • Restore movement in the joint if restricted due to myofascial trigger point

Here in Lakeside Chiropractic, our chiropractors are able to provide dry needling treatment to restore your muscle natural ability. All our chiropractors at Lakeside Chiropractic are fully qualifies and trained to perform dry needling.

If you have any enquiries or would like to book an appointment, feel free to contact one of our friendly staff on 9300 0095 or visit our website at

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September 06, 2022