In the world of physical therapy, dry needling has gained a considerable amount of attention for its ability to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. This method is a technique that involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific trigger points1 within the muscles to reduce pain and promote healing. While it may seem intimidating at first, this minimally invasive procedure has shown results in addressing various conditions, making it a sought-after option for those seeking relief. 

Let’s explore the different conditions that can be treated with dry needling, focusing especially on its therapeutic potential.

1. Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a widespread condition characterised by the presence of trigger points, or knots, in the muscles. These trigger points can cause excruciating pain and discomfort, limiting one’s mobility and overall quality of life. Thankfully, dry needling offers a glimmer of hope for those suffering from MPS. This technique works by targeting and releasing these trigger points, which are often tight bands of muscle fibres that can be palpated by a skilled therapist. When the thin needles are inserted into these knots, they stimulate a twitch response, causing the muscles to relax. This relaxation helps alleviate the pain associated with MPS, making it an effective treatment option.

2. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be an unrelenting burden on those who experience it. Conditions like low back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain may significantly impact daily life and hinder one’s ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed. This is where dry needling comes in to save the day for those seeking relief from chronic pain. By zeroing in on the trigger points responsible for the pain and discomfort, dry needling can reduce pain levels and improve overall function. The insertion of needles also aids in the increase of blood flow to the affected areas, promoting a faster healing process. For anyone seeking a holistic back pain treatment method, dry needling is a promising solution that can help restore comfort and mobility.

3. Sports Injuries

Athletes, both professional and beginners, often face the risk of sustaining sports injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints which can be extremely debilitating and frustrating. Fortunately, dry needling has emerged as a valuable tool when it comes to physiotherapy rehabilitation for sports injuries. The technique is particularly effective in accelerating the recovery process and improving the range of motion in affected areas. Through the promotion of muscle relaxation and enhanced blood flow, dry needling expedites an athlete’s return to the game.

4. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex and challenging chronic pain that causes widespread pain, and tenderness in the muscles and joints, and is often accompanied by fatigue and sleep disturbances. Although managing fibromyalgia can be difficult, dry needling can be used as a treatment method2. It targets the trigger points associated with fibromyalgia which not only addresses the pain but also promotes relaxation. Many individuals with fibromyalgia and heightened muscle tension experience relief and an enhanced quality of life after incorporating dry needling into their treatment plan.

Dry needling is a versatile treatment option for various musculoskeletal conditions3, as demonstrated by its success in addressing myofascial pain syndrome, chronic pain, sports injuries, and fibromyalgia. It may not serve as a standalone solution however, it can be an important component of a comprehensive treatment plan.

If you’re seeking relief from musculoskeletal conditions or looking to enhance your physical well-being, consider exploring the benefits of dry needling at The Movement Laboratory. Our practitioners are here to guide you on your journey toward a healthier, pain-free life. Contact us today to know more!


1. Dunning, J., Butts, R., Mourad, F., Young, I., Flannagan, S., & Perreault, T. (2014). Dry needling: A literature review with implications for clinical practice guidelines. Physical Therapy Reviews, 19(4), 252-265.

2. Gattie, E., Cleland, J. A., & Snodgrass, S. (2017). The Effectiveness of Trigger Point Dry Needling for Musculoskeletal Conditions by Physical Therapists: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 47(3), 133–149.

3. Boyles, R., Fowler, R., Ramsey, D., & Burrows, E. (2015). Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for multiple body regions: a systematic review. The Journal of manual & manipulative therapy, 23(5), 276–293.