Dry needling is an effective technique for treating and managing pain. It can be used for musculoskeletal pain, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back, and movement impairments.
A trigger point is a tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. A physical therapist penetrates the skin with a thin monofilament needle to poke the underlying muscular trigger points. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain.
Dry needling can reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. However, it rarely is a standalone procedure. It often is a part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating traditional physical therapy interventions.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.