A physical therapist places acupuncture needles in a patient's back.

Dry needling

Dry needling to help ease orthopedic pain

At TRIA, we guide you on a path to relief by offering effective and innovative treatment options like dry needling. Dry needling is a modern treatment used in physical therapy to target trigger points in your muscle or tissue.

This treatment is meant to ease muscle pain caused by knots or irritation. Some key benefits of dry needling include improvement in range of motion, function and muscle firing, as well as a decrease in pain.

Our highly experienced TRIA physical therapists and sports medicine specialists will monitor you for changes in your condition and movement before and after the procedure.

Conditions we can treat with dry needling

Dry needling can be used to help with pain management in many areas of your body. The procedure is usually recommended as part of a larger physical therapy treatment plan to aid in faster relief for your condition – combining it with other therapy methods such as exercise, stretching and manual therapy may be helpful. Here are common issues we treat with dry needling:

How dry needling works

Dry needling involves using short, fine, filiform needles that don’t contain any fluids or medications, which is why the procedure is called “dry.” Our therapists will strategically place the needles in and around the painful area.

Stimulating the damaged tissue draws normal blood supply into the targeted area to flush fluids and release tension. It can also stimulate nerve fibers that alert the brain to release endorphins. The amount of time you’ll have pain relief from dry needling will vary depending on your condition.

Dry needling techniques

There are several dry needling techniques, and our team commonly uses:

Trigger-point dry needling

Our specialists will identify the spot where you have pain, called the trigger-point. Once the trigger-point is identified, we’ll insert a filiform needle directly into your knotted muscle or damaged tissue. Trigger-point dry needling stimulates your muscles and disrupts the pain cycle, helping you find the relief you need.

Non-trigger-point dry needling

With the non-trigger-point technique, we target a broader area and not just the precise site of your pain. Placing the needles in tissue that supports and surrounds the places you are experiencing pain will help to stimulate a broader healing response.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We recommend avoiding dry needling if you are afraid of needles, have an infection or are pregnant. If you have a bleeding disorder, it’s best to consult a doctor before you try this form of therapy.

Everyone will respond differently to the therapy technique, but you may experience soreness, some bleeding, bruising and fatigue. Most side effects are minor.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, PreferredOne and many others.

You can check with your insurance to see if your plan covers part or all of the services needed. Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: