dry needling therapy Victoria Wellness osteo Richmond Carlton

Dry Needling

Wellness Osteo offers dry needling as a manual therapy technique to address your musculoskeletal complaint.

Dry needling therapy

dry needling treatment Victoria Wellness osteo Richmond Carlton

At Wellness Osteo, dry needling is just one of several different manual therapy techniques that we use to address your musculoskeletal complaint. We find it is a quick and powerful form of treatment that aims to assist in:


  • Decreasing pain
  • Decreasing muscle tightness
  • Encouraging local healing
  • Increasing muscle function and activation
  • Increasing joint range of motion
dry needling therapy Victoria Wellness osteo Richmond Carlton

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a technique that involves inserting a single-use solid needle into muscle tissue. It differs from acupuncture in that it is aimed at specific muscles to release muscular tightness and decrease pain, whereas acupuncture aims to influence the body using traditional Chinese medicine principals. The term “dry” refers to the fact that in this therapy, needles used are not injecting anything into the body nor withdrawing any blood from the region.


What is the process for dry needling?

The use of dry needling within our Osteopathic consults usually occurs as one of several treatment modalities, research suggests that dry needling is most effective when used in conjunction with other manual therapy and rehabilitation methods. Once your Osteopath has talked through your treatment plan and you have consented to proceed with dry needling, we start off by making sure you’re comfortable, it’s important to keep still while being dry needled. Once the correct region of muscle has been identified, we then disinfect the area using a disposable alcohol swap. The needle is then inserted via a long plastic guide tube, sometimes you will feel a tap at this stage as the needle is inserted. We then readjust the needle to ensure it is positioned to be most effective, often at this point you’ll feel a short muscle twitch. We then leave the needle in position for it to take effect often, and with consent we may readjust the needle, a term often known as plucking or twisting to ensure we have stimulated all the surrounding neuromuscular structures. Once complete we gently remove the needle and hold a sterile cotton swab over the region to ensure we minimise the risk of local bruising.


Does dry needling hurt?

Everyone experiences pain differently, but generally, it shouldn’t hurt. Most people feel a short scratch as the needle is inserted, followed by a deep aching or heavy sensation that will dissipate within about a minute. Often the practitioner will move the needle slightly to try and elicit a “twitch response,” at which time you may feel a slight muscle spasm.

What conditions are commonly treated with Dry needling?

There are plenty of conditions that respond well to dry needling. We find it is particularly useful in conditions where there may be local inflammation or tenderness that means usual manual therapy may irritate the region. We also find it effective in pain management so it is a frequently used technique in acute injuries. We often use dry needling as part of our treatment plan for:

  • Epicondylitis (golfer’s and tennis elbow)
  • Shin splints (tibial stress syndrome)
  • Acute lower back pain (disc injuries, sciatica, and facet sprains)
  • Jaw pain (temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
  • Muscle hypertonicity (tight muscles)


Is there any downtime involved with dry needling?

There isn’t usually any downtime involved after dry needling. Sometimes, particularly after your first session you may feel a little tired and will probably find that you sleep well so we often suggest you book your first dry needling session towards the end of the day. There is also a small risk of local bruising, while this doesn’t occur often we wouldn’t suggest having needling in a visible region if you have any concerns about how it may look in the next few days. We also do not recommend the use of heat for the first 24 hours post dry needling.


Is dry needling not recommended for certain types of patients?

There are some patients that we do not recommend dry needling for, these include:


  • Patients on blood thinning medication
  • Patients who are immunocompromised
  • Pregnant patients in the first trimester
  • Needling over open wounds or rashes
  • Lymphoedema
  • Vascular pathologies
  • Unstable epilepsy
  • Allergy to metals