Dry Needling & Chiropractic

What is Dry Needling?

In recent years, alternative therapies have gained traction in the field of healthcare, offering promising avenues for pain management and rehabilitation. One such practice that has captured attention is dry needling. Dry needling is increasingly being integrated into chiropractic care as a complementary treatment modality to address musculoskeletal issues. Chiropractic care traditionally focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, through manual manipulation or adjustment. Dry needling, on the other hand, targets myofascial trigger points—localised areas of muscle tightness and dysfunction—using thin needles inserted into the skin.

Dry needling can often be compared to acupuncture, which also involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and improve muscle function. Dry needling is also known as trigger point dry needling or intramuscular stimulation. Unlike acupuncture, which is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and focuses on restoring the flow of energy or qi along meridians, dry needling targets myofascial trigger points—localised areas of muscle tightness and dysfunction.

During a dry needling session, practitioners use sterile, thin needles to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying trigger points. The term “dry” distinguishes this technique from “wet needling,” which involves injecting substances such as saline or anesthetics into the tissue. By inserting the needles directly into trigger points, practitioners aim to release muscle tension, improve blood flow, and promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms.



What are the benefits of dry needling?

Benefits of Dry Needling:

  1. Pain Relief: By targeting trigger points, dry needling can help alleviate musculoskeletal pain, including chronic conditions such as lower back pain, neck pain, and tension headaches.
  2. Improved Range of Motion: By releasing tight muscles and reducing muscle spasms, dry needling may enhance flexibility and restore normal movement patterns.
  3. Accelerated Recovery: Dry needling is believed to stimulate the body’s innate healing response, potentially speeding up recovery from injuries or overuse syndromes.
  4. Complementary Therapy: When combined with other rehabilitative interventions such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, dry needling may enhance overall treatment outcomes.



How is dry needling used with Chiropractic treatment?

How is dry needling incorporated into Chiropractic care?

  1. Targeted Pain Relief: Chiropractors often use dry needling to complement manual manipulation techniques in addressing pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, lower back pain, and shoulder pain. By targeting trigger points with dry needling, chiropractors can help alleviate muscle tension and reduce pain, enhancing the overall effectiveness of treatment.
  2. Enhanced Muscle Function: Dry needling can help improve muscle function and range of motion by releasing tight muscles and reducing muscle spasms. Chiropractors may incorporate dry needling into treatment plans for conditions involving muscle dysfunction, such as muscle strains, ligament sprains, and repetitive strain injuries.
  3. Facilitation of Adjustments: In some cases, tight or spasmodic muscles may hinder the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. By incorporating dry needling to release tension in these muscles, chiropractors can facilitate adjustments and improve treatment outcomes. This approach may be particularly beneficial for patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions or those experiencing muscle guarding due to injury or inflammation.
  4. Comprehensive Rehabilitation: Chiropractic care often includes rehabilitative exercises and therapeutic modalities aimed at restoring function and preventing future injury. Dry needling can complement these interventions by addressing underlying muscle dysfunction and promoting optimal muscle function. Chiropractors may incorporate dry needling into comprehensive rehabilitation programs tailored to individual patient needs.
  5. Patient-Centered Care: As with any treatment modality, the integration of dry needling into chiropractic care should be based on individual patient assessment and treatment goals. Chiropractors typically evaluate patients’ musculoskeletal conditions, medical history, and treatment preferences to develop personalized treatment plans that may include dry needling alongside other therapeutic interventions.


At Impulse Chiropractic, we incorporate dry needling into many of our treatment plans for the above reasons. However, we always assess and consider each patient case in front of us individually. We will only use dry needling if you are comfortable have it done, as well as whether it is appropriate for your particular condition. When dry needling is combined with other chiropractic treatment methods such as massage/muscle release techniques, mobilisations, exercise therapy and manipulation it can show promising results for a number of musculoskeletal conditions.


If you would like to try dry needling at Impulse Chiropractic during your chiropractic treatment, let us know and we will ensure that we can allow time for this in your appointment. Likewise, if you have and questions or queries about dry needling and how it could help you, please feel free to chat to our chiropractors about it.



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