What is Dry Needling anyway?

I know I am not the first person to ask this question...

Dry needling is an amazing form of therapy used to treat myofascial pain and biomechanical dysfunction.  Myofascial pain is the technical term for the pain caused by tight muscles.  Dry needling goes by various names, some of which are trigger point therapy, intramuscular stimulation, and intramuscular manual therapy.  The reason it’s called “dry” needling is because there is nothing being injected into the muscles.  Acupuncture needles are used to pass through the skin and massage out the trigger point causing the pain you may be feeling.

What are Trigger Points

The primary role of muscle tissue is to contract and relax.  Sometimes, the muscle fibers can stay contracted.  When that happens within an area of the muscle, that cluster of contracted muscle fiber within a muscle is what we call a trigger point.  When trigger points occur, they can cause pain in areas that are, usually, in a different location than the trigger point causing the pain.  For example, feeling pain down the leg may be caused by one of the muscles above your hip joint.  If a muscle can’t fully relax, it can’t do full work once it contracts, which is why they also decrease the muscle’s ability to do full work and achieve its potential.  This can cause other muscles to compensate for the lack of work being done by the already contracted muscle, setting in motion motor control and movement pattern dysfunctions.  

The body acts like a chain in many aspects. If there is a kink in one part of the chain, it is going to work its way both up and down the chain. That is why Trigger Point therapy like dry needling is important. Don’t let the dysfunction get so bad that it’s affecting your day-to-day activities. Dr. Conrad is proficient at Trigger Point Dry Needling along with other forms of therapy to help relax the affected muscles.

Does Trigger Point Dry Needling Work?

I’m so glad you asked!


The goal of dry needling a patient’s trigger points is to release the active trigger points. When the trigger point releases, not only will the pain subside, but because contracted muscle can’t work as well as a relaxed muscle, overall function of that muscle improves as well.

Research supports that dry needling can decrease pain, decrease muscle tension, and improve muscle function. By having decreased muscle tension in certain muscles of the body, it allows for better chiropractic treatment outcomes.


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