Dry needling can offer relief for muscle pain and stiffness as well as improving range of motion and flexibility. It’s being offered by more and more physiotherapists around the world, and Norris Health can provide full training of the practice with our courses.

What is dry needling?

The process consists of inserting a thin filiform needle into the skin to stimulate trigger points, muscles, and connective tissue, and is used in addition to exercise for injury rehabilitation.

How is it different from acupuncture?

On the face of it, the two seem the same. However, where acupuncture aims to manipulate the body’s flow of energy, dry needling targets the pain of particular muscles. Needles are inserted directly into a patient’s ‘knots’, rather than all over the body. In addition, acupuncture uses pre-determined points which are the same the world over. Dry needling uses points found by your therapist through tissue examination (palpation).

Does it work?

Some research has shown that dry needling can be a successful alternative to drug treatments, especially for pain.

According to a trial published in the Pain Medical Journal, adding dry needling to an exercise programme may be more effective than exercise alone, when treating muscle pain.

While further research into the power of dry needling is required, Unverzagt et al. (2015) concluded there is increasing evidence that it can be effective at decreasing pain, improving range of motion, reducing the sensitivity of myofascial trigger points, and ultimately improving quality of life.

Additionally, Furlan et al. (2005) conducted a study into the effects of acupuncture and dry needling on low-back pain and found that they may be useful in addition to other treatment.

How can Norris Health help?

We offer a range of training options for physiotherapists, including dry needling and medical acupuncture courses. The courses we teach give a thorough knowledge of the technique with a sound evidence base and closely supervised practical training. Our upcoming course dates are in January, March and April 2019. See our courses for full information and to book your place.

If you would like to host a course at your hospital, clinic, or college contact us on info@norrishealth.co.uk

Norris Health also have a series of videos about dry needling – check them out on our YouTube page here.