Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a specialised form of treatment that City Physiotherapy uses for reducing your pain and inflammation. Your myofascial trigger points are targeted with acupuncture needles to treat your pain, muscle tension, injury, and dysfunction. Dry Needling treatment is highly effective and you will often feel immediate pain relief as your muscles relax.

Do I need a separate appointment for Dry Needling?

At City Physiotherapy we make things easy for you. If your physiotherapist feels you will benefit from the treatment they will discuss this with you. If you have given us consent to perform dry needling, you will receive the treatment within your physiotherapy appointment.

It will often require several treatment sessions, depending on the problem area treated, to completely settle some painful areas down.  Most people feel the benefits after their first dry needling treatment.

Dry needling in neck

How does it work?

Needles are usually used to target painful trigger points in muscles. The penetration of the needle causes what is known as a ‘micro-trauma’. This increases blood flow and alters the chemical balance in the muscle, assisting with muscle relaxation and healing.

The stimulation of pain receptors also causes the body to release opioids (eg. endorphins). These are natural pain-relieving chemicals in your brain. Their release provides further pain relief and relaxation of your muscles.


Your muscle may respond with a twitch response to the needle stimulation. This is a highly effective form of physio treatment and you often feel immediate benefits from this form of release. Your muscle releases tension and lengthens.

Substance P,  a pain chemical in your body,  as well as inflammatory chemicals are eliminated around your trigger point. Flushing out these nasty chemicals can provide longer-lasting pain relief.  

Common injuries treated with Dry Needling

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches & Migraine
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • TMJ Pain
  • Muscle Tears/Strains/Tightness
  • Bursitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Hip & Knee Pain


Dry Needling Adelaide - Calf Treatment

Acupuncture and dry needling

Acupuncture is based on stimulating the flow of Chi (energy) through the meridians of the body. This is a well known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that uses the same needles. Although the needles used in both practices are the same, they serve different purposes.

Dry needling is based on anatomical and neurophysiological principles. While many of the ideas behind acupuncture are still applicable, the principles behind the use of needling are very different.

Is it safe?

Yes, it is very safe. There are certain factors that may make you unsuitable for Needling or that require extra care to be taken (eg. diabetes) but your physio at City Physiotherapy will consider these and keep you safe.  All dry needles are sterile and used once before being disposed of safely in a medical sharps container. Our Physiotherapists have all undertaken specialised dry needling training and have many years of expertise in the application of dry needling treatment.

Will it hurt?

One of the great advantages of dry needles is that there is generally less pain both during and after treatment. For example, an alternative like deep tissue massages for muscle pain relief can be painful during and after treatment.

Most people don’t feel the insertion of the dry needle into the trigger point at all. However, you may feel an initial twitch or deep ache that quickly settles into something lighter. You may feel a dull ache, warmth or heaviness in the insertion area, but nothing more painful than this.

After dry needling treatment, there is often little to no soreness. Sometimes you may feel slightly tight, sore or an ache for a short time (up to 1-2 days). This is invariably much less than felt after other massage and soft tissues techniques.

Highly skilled physiotherapists

All of the physiotherapists at City Physio have completed post-graduate training in advanced neuromuscular trigger point dry needling treatment. Our physiotherapy clinic is also a primary world-class education facility for the teaching of dry needling in Adelaide. We have been educating other physiotherapists, GP’s, medical specialists and podiatrists for 16 years.

Our knowledge and ongoing education in dry needling is of the highest standard, meeting AHPRA requirements for clinical dry needling education. Rest assured that you are receiving the best dry needling treatment in Adelaide at City Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.

About us

City Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic in the Adelaide CBD provides the best hands-on physiotherapy treatment for your musculoskeletal problems.

Over 32,000+ patients treated. We have the experience, offer same-day appointments, have friendly physio’s & remedial massage therapists and we understand your time is precious. We are serious about helping you feel better and offer you the best Physio treatment in Adelaide.


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