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Dry Needling | Effective Or Not?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

People want to know if dry needling – a spooky-looking procedure – is worth a try. And whether they can rely on it for the alleviation of pain. Well, there’s a decent amount of evidence available by now that corroborates the efficacy of dry needling in the procedures that use them. BUT. There’s also evidence that it doesn’t REALLY work. Well, today, I am going to bust the myth for you. And rather than looking into the studies that are positive for dry needling’s efficacy, I will be challenging the ones that aren’t.

For this post, we will look into a study on nonspecific shoulder pain that investigates whether dry needling, in conjunction with evidence-based physical therapy, is any better than the physical therapy treatment alone.


One hundred twenty patients with nonspecific shoulder pain were randomly allocated into 2 parallel groups: (1) personalized, evidence-based therapy treatment; and (2) trigger point dry needling in addition to personalized, evidence-based physical therapy treatment.


Nope, Group 2 patients weren’t any better off, apparently. So according to them, dry needling/acupuncture isn’t any good.

But there’s something we all need to look into before acquiescing to the findings of the study. Obviously, that requires some digging, but don’t worry, I have already done that for you.

What’s wrong?

Well, let’s say that they were brilliant with the procedure and hit the trigger points. But they did only thrice dry needling exercise. That’s just much at all. You at least need 12 dry needling exercises. I dry needle my clients 3-4 times in a week; in China, they dry needle twice a day. Then, you can’t just compare every therapist’s technique.


So before you head on and read a study against dry needling, it’s worthwhile to consider all that aforementioned first.

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