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What is Dry Needling?

If you’re injured or hurting, dry needling is a gentle treatment that can be especially effective for releasing knotted muscles. It can be also used for reducing swelling, assisting myofascial release and also re-setting any sensitised nerve areas.

Dry needling uses a very thin, sterile needle that stimulates local muscle relaxation and release. While dry needling uses the same type of needles as acupuncture uses, the reasoning and logic is quite different. Traditional Chinese acupuncture focuses more on energy flows and meridians, while dry needling focuses more on what the muscles and nerves are doing.

What does it feel like?

There are many ways in which dry needling can be used and the vast majority produce a tightness sensation rather than any actual discomfort. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, nervous, “odd’, nausea or feel any pain, TELL US and we will stop immediately!

Who can provide this?

Kath at our Woolston clinic or Robert in our Sumner clinic can provide you with Dry Needling


  • While dry needling is a very useful tool in physiotherapist’s toolkit, it’s not for everybody. Like any other tool, there are areas where it works well and other where caution is needed. Occasionally dry needling may cause minor muscle soreness for the next day or so. Usually you can tell this is a “worked” soreness rather than an “aggravated” soreness, and you’ll notice that your main pain is actually a fair degree better.
  • Sometimes there can be a small amount of bruising after, but generally nothing to worry about.
  • Dry needling on the trunk or neck requires extra caution, and so generally shorter needles are used to make sure everything is as safe as possible.
  • All needling procedures have a small risk for infection. However, we ALWAYS use new, sterile, disposable needles and thorough hand washing procedures.

Please tell us if you have any infection, cancer, hepatitis, HIV / AIDS, a pacemaker, are taking blood thinners and / or immunosuppressant medication, or are pregnant. All of these situations changes how we do the dry needling, and so we really need to know about them.

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