Exploring the World of Dry Needling for Arthritis Relief

Exploring the World of Dry Needling for Arthritis Relief

Are you tired of arthritis pain? 

More than 350 million people globally have arthritis, as per a report. This never-ending pain hinders your daily life activities and stops you from performing work-related tasks, which can result in low productivity.

What if I told you a breakthrough solution now exists that could provide much-needed relief and restore your quality of life? The solution is real, and it's called dry needling. 

Dry needling is an innovative therapy that holds the potential to ease arthritis symptoms. 

This blog will explore the truth behind the burning question: "Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis?"

How to Escape the Pain of Arthritis Simply and Naturally

Key Takeaways

  1. Dry needling can help reduce arthritis symptoms by releasing muscle tension and promoting healing.
  2. Benefits of dry needling include pain relief, improved muscle function, increased circulation, and relaxation.
  3. Dry needling inserts thin needles into trigger points to stimulate healing and release muscle tension.
  4. Hitting a nerve during dry needling can cause pain, tingling, muscle contractions, and rarely, more severe complications.
  5. Safety and precautions in dry needling for arthritis involve qualified practitioners, proper evaluation, informed consent, hygiene practices, communication during the procedure, and appropriate follow-up.

What Is Dry Needling?

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a precision-based technique performed by skilled healthcare professionals, where ultra-thin needles are strategically inserted into specific trigger points within your muscles, tendons, and connective tissues. This modern approach, distinct from traditional acupuncture, targets, and releases muscular tightness and dysfunction.

Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis?

Does Dry Needling Help Arthritis?

Yes, dry needling helps arthritis. Dry needling is used by some healthcare practitioners, such as physical therapists and chiropractors, to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. 


Dry needling involves the insertion of thin needles into specific trigger points and is used for pain management and muscular dysfunction. Recently, it has gained attention for its treatment of arthritis. 

The premise behind dry needling lies in its ability to address muscular tightness and dysfunction, which cause pain and limited mobility in individuals who have arthritis. 

When these trigger points are targeted, the tension is released, blood flow is improved, and the body's natural healing response is promoted. 

Effectiveness of Dry Needling in Relieving Arthritis Symptoms

Effectiveness of Dry Needling in Relieving Arthritis Symptoms

Several researchers have explored the effectiveness of dry needling in helping with arthritis symptoms. 

Research indicated that dry needling helps reduce pain levels, improve joint range of motion, and enhance overall function in individuals who have arthritis. 

One study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) researched the effects of dry needling on musculoskeletal conditions. After needling sessions, the results show a reduction in pain intensity and improved physical function. 

This study shows that dry needling can be equally effective when relieving arthritis symptoms. 

Benefits of Dry Needling

Benefits of Dry Needling

Multiple benefits are associated with dry needling in terms of relief in arthritis. Some of these benefits include:

1) Pain Relief

For reduction in muscle tension and promotion in the release of endorphins, dry needling is a very effective option. Dry needling helps produce endorphins, nature's pain-relieving chemicals in the body. 

Dry needling provides temporary relief from the pain associated with arthritis by targeting trigger points and areas of muscular tightness. 

2) Improved Muscle Function

Arthritis causes muscle imbalance and impairments in joint movements. Dry needling aims to restore proper muscle function by releasing tight muscles and promoting better movement patterns. 

When these muscle dysfunctions are addressed during dry needling therapy, joint function is improved, and pain associated with arthritis is reduced. 

3) Increased Circulation

The dry needling procedure involves the insertion of needles in the body, which can stimulate blood flow to the treated area. With improved circulation, oxygen is delivered along with nutrients and immune cells. This helps in the promotion of healing and the reduction of inflammation. 

4) Relaxation and Stress Relief

Dry needling can have a relaxing effect on the body, helping to relieve stress and tension. Chronic pain from arthritis can be emotionally and physically draining, and any relaxation benefit provided by dry needling may contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

How Does Dry Needling Work?

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Dry needling is a treatment that involves using thin and sterile needles. These needles are inserted into the body's trigger points in the muscles. This insertion of needles in the trigger points relieves pain and improves the range of motion. 

Trigger points are areas of muscles that are tight and tender to the touch. These areas/points may cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Since dry needling targets these points by inserting a needle, the muscles are affected and give you relief from pain.

1) What Does the Needle Do?

The needle creates a small lesion in the muscle tissue. This stimulates a healing response in the body, which increases blood flow and promotes the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins. 

The needle acts as a mechanical stimulus, which helps to break up any adhesions or scar tissue in the muscle.

2) The Goal of Dry Needling

Dry needling aims to alleviate pain and facilitate the healing process by releasing trigger points in the muscles. 

These trigger points are responsible for muscle tension and soreness, which can cause discomfort and limit mobility. Once the trigger point has been released, the muscle will begin to relax, and the patient may experience decreased pain and an increased range of motion. 

Important Note 

It is important to note that a licensed physical therapist with specialized training should only perform dry needling. Patients may experience discomfort during the procedure, but it is typically minimal and short-lived. 

What Happens When Dry Needling Hits a Nerve?

What Happens When Dry Needling Hits a Nerve?

A nerve hit during dry needling can result in various sensations and potential adverse effects. 

The nerve sensitivity and response vary among individuals, and the severity of the impact depends on several factors, including the depth of needle insertion, the angle of needle placement, and the location of the nerve in the target area.

The following may happen if a nerve is hit during dry needling: 

  • You will feel a sharp or shooting pain that may radiate along the nerve pathway. The pain could be intense, accompanied by tingling or numbness.
  • Nerve stimulation can trigger involuntary muscle contractions or twitching in the affected area.
  • It can lead to temporary sensory changes like numbness or tingling in the area. These sensations may resolve on their own once the nerve irritation subsides.
  • Rarely, it can cause swelling, bruising, or minor bleeding at the needle injection site. 
  • Occasionally, hitting a nerve during dry needling may lead to more severe complications, such as nerve injury or infection. 

However, these complications are highly uncommon when a qualified and experienced healthcare professional performs the procedure.

Safety and Precautions in Dry Needling for Arthritis

Safety and Precautions in Dry Needling for Arthritis

Dry needling must be performed with appropriate safety and precautions and by a qualified healthcare professional. It would help if you had these safety measures in mind when looking for dry needling therapy: 

1) Qualified practitioner

Ensure that a healthcare professional performs the dry-needling procedure with optimum training in dry-needling techniques. 

2) Evaluation and assessment

Before undergoing dry needling, the healthcare professional should conduct a thorough evaluation of your condition, including a physical examination and assessment of your medical history. This will determine if dry needling is right for your specific arthritis symptoms or not. 

3) Informed consent

Before the procedure, the healthcare professional will explain this therapy's benefits, risks, and potential side effects. Understand what to expect, and proceed with the treatment after informed consent.

4) Hygiene and sterilization

Ensure the practitioner follows strict hygiene practices and uses sterile needles for each treatment session. This helps reduce the risk of infection and ensures your safety during the procedure.

5) Communication during the procedure

Communicate with the practitioner during the session. If you experience any discomfort, pain, or unusual sensations, inform the practitioner immediately so they adjust for your comfort or safety.

6) Monitoring and follow-up

After the dry needling session, the healthcare professional should provide appropriate post-treatment instructions, including any necessary precautions or self-care measures. They may also recommend follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and adjust the treatment plan.


The question, "Does dry needling help arthritis?" is of great interest to those seeking relief from arthritis pain. 

Dry needling shows promise in addressing muscular tension, promoting relaxation, and potentially improving arthritis symptoms. 

This therapy aims to alleviate pain, improve muscle function, and enhance overall well-being by targeting trigger points and releasing muscular tightness. 

It is important to consult a qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your specific condition and determine if dry needling is a suitable treatment option for your arthritis. 

With proper evaluation, personalized care, and adherence to safety precautions, dry needling may offer valuable benefits in managing arthritis and restoring a better quality of life.

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