Image of dry needling being performed on a right shoulder with the text "Dry Needling 101"

Dry Needling 101

In Back Pain, Equipment, Hand Therapy, Head & Neck Pain, Joint Pain, Physical Therapy by Advance TherapyLeave a Comment



Wyoming is one of many states that allow Physical and Occupational Therapists to use dry needling as part of their treatments. Dry needling is used to treat muscular pain and trigger points (aka. muscle knots). 


  1. Why is it called “dry” needling? The needles are used to stimulate the muscle tissue and not to insert medication or other chemicals, which allows the needle to be smaller than conventional needles.
  2. What kinds of pain/conditions does dry needling treat? Joint problems, Disk problems, Tendinitis, Migraine and tension-type headaches, Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome), Spinal problems, Night cramps
  3. Dry needling is used to decrease pain and reboot the muscle electrical activity, allowing the therapist to re-train movement and function. This technique can elicit a muscle twitch response which is considered to be a good sign.
  4. How long does it take? Dry needling can be done as quickly as 2 minutes depending on the provider technique and injured area.
  5. What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine and is performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is only performed by licensed health care providers where it is allowed by state law.
  6. What to expect after? Muscle soreness is the most common side effect of dry needling that it usually lasts between 6-24 hours post-intervention. Most patients treat soreness with gentle movements, stretching, water and hot packs.
  7. Who should not receive dry needling? Pregnant women, People who are not able to understand the treatment, are very afraid of needles, have allergies to metals or bleeding disorders.

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