IMS Dry Needling and Clinical Acupuncture

Reduces muscular tension, improves circulation, and restores neuromuscular function. Acupuncture has an effect on both your physical and mental wellness.

The Science Behind Dry Needling: A Path to Pain Relief, Healing, and Safety

In the realm of modern physiotherapy, innovative techniques continue to emerge, offering new avenues for pain relief, improved well-being, and enhanced recovery. Among these techniques, dry needling therapy has garnered significant attention for its remarkable effectiveness. Rooted in scientific principles and bolstered by an expanding body of empirical evidence, dry needling has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing various musculoskeletal conditions and promoting the body's inherent healing processes. This essay undertakes an exploration into the scientific foundations of dry needling, shedding light on its myriad benefits, common medical applications, and the empirical research that substantiates its credibility.

Dry needing alleviated chronic neck pain. Notably, the study reported a reduction in pain intensity and sensitivity at trigger points

Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy


Understanding Dry Needling: The Basics and Beyond

Dry needling entails the strategic insertion of fine needles into specific trigger points within muscles, tendons, or connective tissues. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling hinges on anatomical and physiological tenets, zeroing in on tight or knotted muscle fibers to alleviate pain, optimize muscle function, and accelerate healing. The central tenet of this technique is to untangle muscle tension, enhance blood circulation, and provoke the body's natural mechanisms of recovery.

A Plethora of Benefits: Unveiling Dry Needling's Potential

Dry needling therapy is heralded for a myriad of advantages, contributing to its popularity both among physiotherapists and patients:

1. Pain Relief: By targeting trigger points, dry needling prompts the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving compounds.
2. Muscle Relaxation: Needle insertion triggers localized muscle contractions, leading to relaxation and diminished tension.
3. Improved Blood Flow: The process boosts blood circulation, facilitating the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to tissues.
4. Enhanced Range of Motion: Targeting muscular knots and tension improves flexibility and mobility.
5. Complementary Therapy: Dry needling synergizes effectively with other physiotherapy techniques, augmenting overall treatment outcomes.
6. Holistic Approach: As a drug-free modality, dry needling provides a holistic solution for pain management.

Dry needling has an impact on upper trapezius myofascial pain. Results revealed substantial enhancements in pain reduction and muscle function following dry needling sessions.

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy


Treating Medical Conditions with Dry Needling

Low Back Pain
Neck Pain
Shoulder Pain
Muscle Spasms

Tension Headaches
Sports Injuries
Plantar Fasciitis
Tennis Elbow
Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Dry needling finds application in addressing an array of medical conditions, including but not limited to:

A Promising Path Forward

Dry needling therapy stands as a testament to physiotherapy's evolution, enmeshing scientific tenets to offer effective pain relief and accelerate the healing process. Bolstered by a growing body of evidence, including studies from reputable journals, dry needling epitomizes a non-invasive, drug-free approach to tackling musculoskeletal issues. As scientific inquiry delves deeper into the intricacies of its mechanisms, dry needling paves a promising trajectory towards a future where pain management and recovery rest upon the bedrock of evidence-based practices.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is used as a treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal, neurological, visceral, systemic, and psychosomatic conditions.

It originates from within the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), involving the stimulation of meridian points on the body using thin metallic needles, which modulate the body's flow of energy or "Qi".  Qi is responsible for the body's overall health.

What makes acupuncture so mysterious is that even though it has been used to treat disease for thousands of years, its physical mechanisms have not yet been understood.  Practitioners of TCM in the early 1900s recognized this issue, and a conscious effort was made to not focus on the physical mechanisms, but to instead focus on its application towards the treatment of disease. Although this may seem like a dilemma, past technology may not have been able to explain the effects of acupuncture, while advances in modern technology have brought us closer to understanding how acupuncture works. Explanations involving stimulation of the central nervous system have been proposed, and recent studies have attempted to show meridian pathways on the human body using fluorescent dyes.

Addressing concerns you may have prior to acupuncture treatment

Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
Dental pain after surgery
Menstrual cramps
Tennis elbow
Myofascial pain

Low back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Improving fertility
Pre/Post-natal care
Recovery from injury/surgery
Improving immune health
Stroke rehabilitation

We can treat the following conditions with acupuncture:

Does it hurt?

Because the acupuncture needles that we use are much thinner than a hypodermic needle, there is normally minimal pain. Patients mostly report a numb or tingling sensation at the site of needle insertion. Often the anticipation of pain will cause more discomfort than the actual needles, so it is important to relax.

Can I shower or eat after the treatment?

Yes. In most cases there are no contraindications after the treatment, and in exceptional cases we would inform patients on an individual basis.

What type of responses will my body feel after acupuncture?

Often a feeling of relaxed tension or pain relief in the problem area. For example, when treating migraines, it is normal to feel relaxation and relief in the head area shortly after needles are inserted.

Slightly looser stools a day or two after the treatment, especially when clearing heat from the body.

Dizziness or sweating for a short time, often during the treatment, followed by pain relief. This often occurs when treating bodily pain issues.

Do you accept insurance?

Yes, we are fully licensed in the province of Ontario. Depending on your insurance plan, we will directly bill your insurance company, or provide you with an invoice to submit to insurance for reimbursement.

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Vaughan Physiotherapy is dedicated to educating our patients on how to lead healthy lifestyles. Contact us to get started!


1. Kietrys, D. M., Palombaro, K. M., Azzaretto, E., & Hubler, R. (2017). Effectiveness of dry needling for upper-quarter myofascial pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(3), 133-149.
2. Moro, L., Cafforio, G., Fronte, F., Germanotta, M., Felicia, B., & Donato, G. (2020). Effectiveness of dry needling versus a classical physiotherapy program in patients with chronic low-back pain: a single-blind, randomized, pretest-posttest controlled study. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 1-8.

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