Dry Needling

The Brisbane Spine Clinic offers dry needling as part of an integrated treatment plan for a range of conditions and injuries.

Our Physiotherapists are experienced in the correct method of dry needling techniques.

In this article, we share the answers to five of our clients’ most frequently asked questions about dry needling.



Dry needling and acupuncture – what’s the difference?

Appearance wise, not much, it would be difficult to distinguish these treatments from a photograph. They also share a common therapeutic aim and technique. Dry needling and acupuncture both involve the insertion of short stainless-steel needles to relieve pain.

Now let’s look at the differences.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine practice based on restoring health by acting on your nervous system to release healing energy or chi. Needles are inserted into points on one of your body’s twelve meridian lines.

Dry needling is a pain-relieving technique based on releasing tension in knots and trigger points in your muscles.

Acupuncture has been widely researched and many of its applications are scientifically verified. Acupuncture is now used treat a diverse range of conditions including, migraines, depression, menstrual disorders and nausea.

Dry needling is a much more contemporary practice but early research findings support its use to treat muscular pain and restore motion.


How does dry needling work?

Your physiotherapist uses short, filiform (threadlike) needles. These needles do not contain liquid. No fluid is injected into your body, hence the term, ‘dry’ needling.

When your muscles are tight and irritated, trigger points form. The needles are placed into these knotted or hard ‘trigger points’ for approximately three and five minutes.

Dry needling is designed to deactivate these trigger points causing the muscle to release tension. This process is sometimes called ‘intramuscular stimulation’ as it is thought to simulate the neurological sensors in your body and elicit a twitch response. It’s this twitch or muscle cramp that releases toxins, restores blood flow and causes the muscle to relax.

We offer dry needling for back pain, neck pain, and pregnancy related pelvic pain and many sport specific injuries.

Depending on their condition, some clients notice an improvement after a single treatment. In other cases clients report less pain and more mobility after 3 – 4 sessions.

Find out more about the links between dry needling and pain relief.


What can I expect after dry needling?

Dry needling may relieve muscular pain and stiffness, improve flexibility and increase your range of motion. Many of our clients also tell us that their sleep, appetite and energy levels also improve.

You may have some bruising or temporary soreness 24 to 48 hours after your treatment. Depending on the site of your treatment, we recommend using an ice or a heat pack to reduce muscle soreness.

Protecting and enhancing your health is our only concern. We only use sterile single use needles, which we dispose of after your treatment. As with all our treatments, we screen you for any contraindications to dry needling before we begin.


Will dry needling treat the cause of my problem?

Dry needling is a modern treatment designed to ease muscular pain. If we treat you soon after you receive a sporting injury, it may speed up the recovery process.

However, while it may reduce the pain, dry needling will not address the causes of injury or long-term degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.


Is dry needling painful?

You may or may not feel a slight pinprick and a muscle twitch or a cramp when the needle is inserted. Generally, though the treatment is not considered painful.

If you’d like more information about dry needling and pain relief, please get in touch.


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*Please note, content within this article is for educational purposes only and treatment and advice mentioned may not be suited for everyone. Please consult a team member at The Brisbane Spine Clinic or your General Practitioner for specific advice.