What is Trigger-point Dry Needling?

Trigger-point dry needling is an invasive procedure where a fine needle or Acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin and Muscle. It is aimed at myofascial trigger points (MTrP) which are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. Trigger point dry needling can be carried out at superficial or deep tissue level.


What is dry needle therapy used for?

Dry needling is a technique physical therapist use (where allowed by state law) for the treatment of pain and movement impairments. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle


Indications for Dry Needling

  • Identification of myofascial trigger points in the muscle through palpation
  • Deep dry needling reproduces the patient’s pattern of pain
  • Identification of ‘Jump’ and ‘Shout’ sign on palpation on MTrP
  • The minimum criteria for diagnosis of myofascial trigger points are:
    – Spot tenderness in a palpable band of skeletal muscle
    – Subject recognition of pain with palpation

– Clinical presentation

DN is used for pain and disfunction of the musculoskeletal system of various origins. DN is used mostly for treatment of myofascial trigger points. Further indications are among several others for example insertional tendinopathy, scar pain, soft tissue pain and tensioned muscles.

Absolute Contraindications

DN therapy should be avoided in patients under the following circumstances

  • In a patient with needle phobia.
  • Patient unwilling – fear, patient belief
  • Unable to give consent – communication, cognitive, age-related factors.
  • Medical emergency or acute medical condition.
  • Over an area or limb with lymphedema as this may increase the risk of infection/cellulitis and the difficulty of fighting the infection if one should occur.
  • Inappropriate for any other reason.


Relative Contraindications

  • Abnormal bleeding tendency
  • Compromised immune system
  • Vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Children
  • Frail patients
  • Patients with epilepsy
  • Psychological status
  • Patient allergies
  • Patient medication
  • Unsuitable patient for any reason

If you would like to know more, book a consultation to discuss whether this treatment is best suited for you.