Dry Needling

Dry Needling utilises hypodermic needles. It is used in therapeutic healthcare settings, and has been used for many years. It is technically different from Acupunture (which is a title under protection in the USA 🇺🇸, as it a 5 year course training in Chinese Medicine). Due to the hypodermic needles positive benefits it is now used in the West, and is also known as Medical Acupunture.

Fundamentally : needles are inserted into the body. Western users of this technique follow models of physiology and anatomy rather than Chinese models developed on energy and meridians. In the west Dry Needling is essentially used to help treat many painful musculoskeletal conditions.


There are 3 theories as to why it may work..

1)Local changes — the chemical adenosine it released which may help reduce pain. Increases blood vessel dilation to improve blood flow (this is why you’ll see the area redden).

2)wider changes – muscles inhibit pain signals

3)Nerve changes in the Central nervous system – skins nerve endings stimulate and feedback to the Brain areas that reduce pain.

In the West – the methods used are focused on targeting Trigger points and tight muscle knots. These can very very often cause pain to be referred elsewhere other than the spot fo the tight muscle knot. Such as down the arm although the knot may be in the shoulder for example.

Tigger points as mentioned are tight muscle fibres formed into a small band or spot. Known as knots, they can cause pain and restrict motion of the neighbouring joints. Pain is made worse if the muscle stretched or pushed on. Sometimes our clients describe this as a “good pain”.

Rather than pressing into the point and possibly irritating it – the needles are used to help reduce the knot but in a less painful way.

Side effects can be experienced, the most common are: fatigue/ tiredness, mild pain less than 24 hours, nausea/ dizziness, fainting, and in some small cases a Haematoma depending on the medication the person it taking, dry needling will have to be weighed up with the risks vs benefits as with all treatments.

As the needles are inserted they are always new and sterile, Needles at Back-In-action will never and have never been re-used.


When having needling done on yourself, you may experience an initial sharp scratch when it is inserted, but then this should immediately disappear. Otherwise the needle will be removed and replaced. This happens if the needle is close to a nerve needing or blood vessel which is conjoined with a nerve ending. The practitioner will aim to give a ‘twitch’ response where the muscle which is targeted will twitch and relax immediately, this ensure that the process has an effect.

After insertion the needle can be twisted and pushed slightly deeper aka Manipulated, for a few minutes.

The hypodermic needles create a local inflammation response which helps increase healing and reduce pains and tightness. With this it is also said that our own bodies opioid (pain killing) substances are released, and waste materials in the surrounding area are washed away.

The length of needle insertion and its benefits are still unknown and are thought to be related to endorphin concentrations.


Evidence for the use of dry needling and physiotherapy in the management of cervicogenic or tension-type headache: a systematic review.

Effectiveness of dry needling for chronic nonspecific neck pain: a randomized, single-blinded, clinical trial.

Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial.

Exercises and Dry Needling for Subacromial Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Parallel-Group Trial.


If you would like to try and experience Dry Needling – book in today with our Chiropractor Dry Needling Practitioners – Jozef or Bhavik.

From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes

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