Dry Needling – Powerful For Resolving Soft Tissue Issues

Peak Sports And Spine Centre also uses Dry Needling therapy, which refers to the use of solid filiform needles to alleviate muscle pain in a process known as intramuscular stimulation.

Trigger point dry needling is a treatment technique, which uses small filament type needles to release tight muscles with the goal of permanently reducing muscle pain and dysfunction. Manual Therapists around the world are now using this technique effectively treat acute and chronic orthopaedic and musculoskeletal conditions. TDN can help you more efficiently treat your patients, improve your outcomes and save your aching wrists and thumbs!

It is a treatment that uses fine filament (acupuncture) needles, but that is where the similarity to acupuncture stops. Acupuncture tends to be a more superficial treatment that focuses on restoring energy or “Qi” to the body. It is thought there are blockages that can be restored by properly placing needles along energy channels called meridians.

TDN differs to this approach, and directly treats the neuromuscular system affecting muscle tightness, joint mobility, and symptoms of pain and irritation. Testing active trigger points with an EMG needle has shown that there is increased spontaneous electrical activity (SEA) at the active trigger point. It is kind of like buzzing or uncontrolled electricity causing the nerve muscle connection to trigger the muscle to be tight. This tightness can cause limited range of joint motion resulting in a reduction of normal functional activities of the whole body.

Recent research has reported that there are numerous inflammatory and pain producing chemicals at an active trigger point causing pain and dysfunction of the muscle, consequently affecting the local nerves and joints. The dry needle has been shown, when causing a local twitch response (LTR) in the active trigger point and muscle fibre, to decrease or completely reduce that spontaneous electrical activity and reduce or completely eliminate the irritating chemicals in that active trigger point. This release can immediately improve range of motion, decrease pain and improve function. Patients often feel a significant cramping sensation from the twitch response but then feel an immediate improvement of their symptoms.

Utilising trigger point dry needing in manual therapy practice allows the patient and the therapist a hastened return to strengthening and exercise that results in a faster return to function and improved maintenance of that dysfunction.

Make an appointment

Call us at: (07) 3399 3318

Our multidiscipline clinic is located in Hawthorne, right around the corner from Bulimba, Balmoral and Morningside.

What is dry needling?

Dry Needling involves multiple advances of an acupuncture-type needle into the ‘trigger point’ of the muscle. The aim is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain.

Dry Needling

What will I experience?

The needles used are very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. If the target muscle is shortened and supersensitive you will feel a cramping or twitch sensation. This is very short-lasting, and patients soon learn to recognise this sensation as therapeutic as it is followed by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Dry Needling


  • Reduced muscle pain
  • Improved muscle strength and length
  • Improved use of muscles
  • Improved sleep and relaxation


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The filiform needles are used for both dry needling and acupuncture are ultra thin and solid.

In the hands of our therapists, patients should not feel any significant level of pain.

The most common effect is some soreness locally in the areas for 24 hrs and in rare cases 48 hrs.

Treatments are typically once a week, to allow enough recovery time between treatment sessions. However, this can vary. The number of treatments you will require will depend on many things, such as:
– How long you have had your problem
– The extent of your problem
– How long it takes to address the contributing factors
– How quickly your body can heal

The most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your clinician will instruct you on how to minimise this. There are other less common side effects such as bruising. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your clinician.

Neuropathic pain is pain that occurs when nerves malfunction following minor irritation. The nerves become supersensitive and normal signals become exaggerated and misperceived as painful ones. The result is pain, even when medical tests show there is ‘nothing wrong’.

The shortened muscle syndrome

An important contributing factor in neuropathic pain is muscle shortening or spasm. This produces pain by pulling on tendons, creating tension on the joints they attach into, and thus contributing to degenerative changes such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis.

Prior to treatment please inform your clinician if you have any of the following conditions:

– Pregnant
– Metal allergies
– Implants
– Axillary or inguinal node dissection
– Joint replacements
– Needle Phobia