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Dry needling is a technique physical therapists use (where allowed by state law) to treat pain and movement problems. A physical therapist inserts a "dry" needle, without medication or injection, into areas of the muscle.

Other terms used to describe dry needling include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy.

Dry needling can release or inactivate trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Physical therapists may use dry needling as part of an overall treatment plan.

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.

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Featured Content

A physical therapist performing dry needling on a patient.


Dry Needling: What It Is & Who It Helps
A PT performing dry needling on a person's shoulder.

Health Tips

Dry Needling by a Physical Therapist: What You Should Know
A physical therapist doing dry needling on a patient's hip.


Dry Needling by a Physical Therapist
A video showing dry needling by a physical therapist on a patient's neck.


Patient Story: Chelsea (Physical Therapy with Dry Needling)

Additional Dry Needling Content

What Is Physical Therapy?

Oct 5, 2023 | Open Access

3 Ways a Physical Therapist Can Help Manage Headaches

Dec 5, 2018 | Health Tips

4 Ways Physical Therapists Manage Pain

Sep 30, 2018 | Health Tips

Patient Story: Breaux (Physical Therapy with Dry Needling)

Jun 2, 2015 | Open Access

Dry Needling By Physical Therapist Helps Teacher's Shoulder Pain

Jan 16, 2014 | Patient Stories