Dry Needling

Dry Needling Treatment Alexandria,VA


Dry needling is a treatment technique often used by physical therapists to relieve pain. It requires using a sterile acupuncture needle that is inserted through the skin into muscles, tendons, ligaments, and/or close to nerves to immediately reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and increase mobility. Dry needling is not acupuncture; it is based on a modern scientific study of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. This treatment technique provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal which ultimately reduces pain. It is used in a variety of musculoskeletal problems including, but not limited to acute or chronic injuries, headaches, neck pain, back pain, tendinitis, muscle spasms, “Sciatica”, hip or knee pain, muscle strains, fibromyalgia, tennis or golfer’s elbow, overuse injuries, and much more.


The only similarity between dry needling and acupuncture is the insertion of the needle. In contrast to most schools of acupuncture, dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research.

Licensed physical therapists in a growing number of states can use dry needling under the scope of their practice. Our physical therapists have not licensed acupuncturists and do not practice acupuncture.


Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. When performed as part of a comprehensive physical therapy program combined with functional exercise and advanced manual therapy, dry needling can successfully treat a wide array of acute and chronic orthopedic conditions.


For most people, there is little to no discomfort with the insertion of the needle. During the treatment of the targeted muscles, you will likely experience a “twitch response” which often feels like a quick muscle cramp or ache. These sensations are normal and even desirable at times. Dry needling muscle soreness can be felt up to 24-48 hours. When combined with electrical stimulation, the soreness after needling can be substantially reduced. The application of heat and drinking plenty of fluids usually reduces the soreness.

Dry Needling is a powerful treatment technique that when used as part of a comprehensive physical therapy program, can help you relieve your pain and improve your function quickly. Contact us today at Alexandria, VA center to learn if dry needling therapy is right for you.