Dry Needling

Dry Needling: What it is and how it can help you

Dr. Nick and Dr. Sara are excited to announce that HRC now offers dry needling as an added service to supplement your chiropractic care.


What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a treatment that helps treat muscle pain and soreness by placing small thin needles into specific trigger points or “knots” in order to correct movement impairments and relieve pain. This treatment is called “dry” needling because unlike shots at the doctor, no fluid is injected into the body through the needle.

The needle only remains in your skin for a short period of time – anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on the patient’s need, the severity of the pain, and other variables.

Needles make you nervous? Picture four quarters in a stack – that’s just shy of one-quarter of an inch, which is the deepest into your skin the needle can go – that’s it! And the needle itself is extremely thin.


What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

With dry needling, needles are placed in specific points based anatomical structures and physiological function whereas acupuncture places needles based both on anatomical structures and along what are called “meridian lines” which are based on traditional Chinese medicine and are considered to be tied to various organs in the body.

In dry needling, the needle stays in place for a much shorter period of time (about 30 seconds to about two minutes), whereas in acupuncture the needles stay in place for 15-30 minutes or more.


A dry needling case study

We recently had a patient who was suffering from rib subluxations, which was causing pain in her back in the areas of the ribs that were not moving properly. Through chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Nick was able to move her ribs back into their normal position.

However, as the patient would lift weights as a part of her workout routine, the ribs would move back out of position, causing pain and limiting mobility.

This pattern continued for several weeks, and ultimately reached a point where the patient could not complete her workouts as usual. The patient reported that she was unable to even lift her warm-up weight without significant pain, forcing her to stop her workout entirely.

Dr. Nick implemented dry needling into his treatment of the patient, and placed needles into several trigger points in the area of the ribs that were subluxating. The patient felt some immediate relief and improved mobility, though did still maintain some soreness.

Following three treatments, the patient was able to go back to the gym and complete her workouts with some general soreness, but no pain. Following her workouts, she reported that the trigger points continued to improve, and she has been able to go back to being active and completing her workouts as usual.

In the patient’s words:

“Without the dry needling treatment I received, I have no doubt I would have had to not only stop my regular workouts, but would have had to limit other daily activity as well. Before getting this treatment, I wasn’t able to pick up my niece without significant pain, and now I’m back to deadlifting 250 pounds at the gym and carrying heavy backpacks on hikes!”

Can dry needling help me?

You may benefit from dry needling if you are experiencing:

  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle pain
  • Repetitive motion disorders
  • Sports injuries
  • Limited mobility/decreased flexibility
  • Fibromyalgia

If you’d like to learn more about dry needling and how it can potentially help you, contact us today at 608-849-5550 or [email protected] and we can discuss a potential treatment plan that fits your needs.