What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a Western form of Acupuncture based on the West’s knowledge of anatomy. There is no Eastern philosophy of Ying/Yang or the description of the flow of energy, that’s not to say they are wrong. It is just we use other rationales to justify our treatment protocol.

Dry needling involves fine needles being inserted through the skin and briefly left in position. Sometimes manual stimulation is applied to assist the process. The number of needles used varies; it may only be two or three. The practitioner will assess each patient and treatment will be tailored to the individual.

Treatment may be once a week to begin with, progressing to longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatments lasts 5 to 8 sessions.

Dry needling stimulates the nerves in the skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that dry needling increases the body’s release of natural painkillers i.e. endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.

Which conditions respond to Dry Needling?

Dry needling is effective in a range of painful conditions and is commonly used for short term relief of chronic low back and neck pain, and can help with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.

There is good evidence that dry needling is effective in the short term relief of tension type headaches and migraines, and of temporomandibular (jaw joint) pain.

What is involved in having dry needling?

Every patient will be given an initial assessment, followed by a course of treatment suitable for the condition.

Treatment is usually provided in 6 consecutive appointments but may be less if the condition responds quickly. If the practitioner feels that the condition cannot be treated with dry needling, you will be recommended to see your GP or appropriate specialist.

The treatment itself involves sterile disposable fine needles being inserted through the skin and briefly left in position.

Blood donation following dry needling?

Patients who have received dry needling will still be able to give blood providing they meet certain criteria. The National Blood Service guidelines are explained below.

Patients may donate: –

  • If dry needling has been performed under the NHS.
  • If dry needling has been performed outside of the NHS by a qualified healthcare professional registered with a statutory body.

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)

You are welcome to bring a chaperone with you to the first or any subsequent visits.

It is common to feel sore post treatment. The pain may have moved or changed in some way.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are worried and want to discuss these symptoms.

Genral Osteopathic Council