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Trigger Point Dry Needling

Relieve achy, stiff muscles with dry needling therapy at Wayne UNC Health Care. This simple treatment inserts thin needles into trigger points (tender spots) to release muscle knots and ease your pain.

Do I Need Dry Needling?

You may benefit from dry needling if you experience:

  • Chronic (long-lasting) pain, including fibromyalgia and sciatica
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sports injuries
  • Stress
  • Tight, strained, or cramped muscles

What to Expect

You’ll sit or lie on a padded table. Depending on the part of your body receiving treatment, you may need to remove some clothing or change into a gown.

Then, a specially trained physical therapist will gently insert one or more fine needles in the painful muscle area. You’ll feel a tiny prick, but shouldn’t bleed. The needles will stay in place for a few minutes. You may experience a mild muscle twitch—successful release of a trigger point.

Patient Story

With dry needling, Brittany Acree found the “magic formula” for her frequent headaches and tight neck muscles.

By creating microscopic tears in achy muscles, dry needling starts the healing process and sparks growth of new, healthy tissue.

Differences From Acupuncture

Trigger point dry needling uses a different approach than acupuncture. It’s based on practices that research shows work well, while acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine. Physical therapists who use dry needling know a great deal about muscles, nerves, and anatomy, so you can trust them for safe, effective care.


You may feel better after just one session of dry needling. Tell your therapist what you experience after the first treatment, so they can make the right care plan for you. Schedule follow-up appointments as needed to keep the pain from coming back.


Insurance may cover your next physical therapy session that includes dry needling. Or, you may pay $50 out of pocket for a stand-alone 30-minute session.

Ask us for this service any time—no doctor’s referral required.

Request an Appointment

You can request an appointment with our Rehabilitation and Therapy team today. We will then contact you to schedule your appointment.

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