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Dry Needling: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling

How is the treatment done?

Dry needling is a procedure which is used to relieve pain caused due to myofascial pain syndrome. The form of treatment is often also referred to as intramuscular stimulation or IMS. The entire treatment relies on specialized points on the body, which are known as Ah Shi points. These points often coincide with trigger points in the body.

Usually, the Ah Shi points are punctured during a procedure known as Acupuncture, which is quite different from the dry needling process. However, due to the use of the trigger points in the treatment, people have started referring to the same as Myofascial Acupuncture.

The treatment was devised by Karel Lewitt and used in 1979 for the first time. During this period, Lewitt determined that when a needle is inserted into a Myofascial trigger point, it led to relief from the pain caused by the Myofascial pain syndrome. Lewitt also noticed that the needle did not even need to carry analgesics for the relief, as the cause for the relief was the puncture caused by the needle itself.

Studies have been unable to find concrete evidence regarding the efficacy of the dry needling procedure. However, many patients claimed that they received benefits and relief from the pain after the treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Dry needling is an invasive procedure, but it does not involve standard surgery. In case of myofascial pain syndrome, dry needling is used. In this treatment, filiform needles are inserted into the trigger points. These trigger points are responsible for causing the pain related to the syndrome. Puncturing the knots of the trigger points relieves the pain in the region.

When a needle is inserted properly into the trigger point, it will cause a small muscular twitch reaction. This response is called a local twitch response or LTR. This is an involuntary movement of the muscle caused by the spinal cord. When an LTR response results from the dry needling, the treatment has a better chance of relieving pain when compared to the dry needling procedure where LTR is not elicited.

There is a risk of experiencing severe pain when it comes to inserting the needles into the muscles of the body. However, experts on the treatment can do the same without any significant discomfort to the person undergoing it. Since there is no evidence as to whether the treatment works as intended, it is usually advisable to seek other forms of treatment for the myofascial pain syndrome.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Dry needling is only done when a patient suffers from severe myofascial pain syndrome. This pain can be caused at any parts of the body. There are no exceptions for the treatment and even the elderly people can seek dry needling. However, you should seek the advice of a qualified physician before you run off to enroll yourself for the procedure.

Are there any side effects?

People who do not suffer from the myofascial pain syndrome do not need to undergo dry needling. Furthermore, this form of treatment is considered to be a part of alternate medicine, which is why patients should seek out the traditional solutions before going for a dry needling. In case you want to avoid a painful experience, you need to stay away from dry needling, as it may sometimes cause a lot of pain.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Dry needling is usually considered to be a safe procedure for all people, who are not afraid of needles or are anxious about a bit of pain. However, side effects are common for the procedure as well. These effects may include sharp pain at the point of insertion, fatigue, soreness of the muscles and even bruising.

When the trigger points in the neck, shoulders and face are punctured with needles, it may lead to headaches. Doctors also advise against children under the age of 12 years from undergoing the treatment. If in some case a child must undergo the dry needling, the consent of the child is needed after he/she is properly explained what the procedure involves.

How long does it take to recover?

After a session of dry needling, doctors usually assess a few aspects in the patients. The three specifics that needs to be monitored in the patient includes, the range of motion in the muscles. Some people may face difficulty while moving their hands or legs. Additionally, patients may also be asked to perform stretching exercises in order to improve the muscle movements

Following the dry needling, patients are also monitored to determine which activities are responsible for the recurrence of the myofascial pain syndrome. This helps to avoid the pain in the future by avoiding those activities.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Recovery is usually instantaneous and you will likely get relief from the pain as soon as the needle is inserted into the trigger points. However, for some, the entire dry needling procedure may turn out to have very limited effect. Aside from this, the pain caused due to improper needling may take some time to heal. The same is true for bruising and headaches caused as a result of the dry needling.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The cost of the treatment differs from one place to the other. However, a single session of dry needling may cost anywhere between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Results are not permanent and there are no guarantees that all people will receive the same effect. In case of Myofascial pain syndrome, one session of the dry needling may relieve the pain temporarily. However, engaging in certain activities can very easily lead to the symptoms returning.

Safety: Treatment Effectiveness: Low Timeliness: Very Low Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000

Popular Health Tips

Top 10 Physiotherapist in Mumbai!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Lakhimpur Kheri
Top 10 Physiotherapist in Mumbai!

Physiotherapy is important for treating and preventing many musculoskeletal disorders as well as for the simple things like posture correction.  Below is the list of top physiotherapists in Mumbai for an intensive and comprehensive care are:

1. Dr. Varun Shanbhag

BPTh/BPT, Bachelor In TCM, DTCM

Dr. Varun Shanbhag is a Physiotherapist with specialisation in treating neuro, sports and musculoskeletal. He has 5 years of experience and practices at Exercise Clinic, Mumbai. He has many international certification like MOTNS, Crossfit L1, Neurolinguistic programmer, sports nutritionist, Neurodevelopmental Therapy.  He has also done advanced certifications in Kinesiology Taping, Dry Needling and Mulligan Therapy. 

Consultation fees: ₹500

2. Dr. Pooja Mehta

MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy)

Dr. Pooja Mehta is founder of Dr.Pooja Mehta clinic. She has been part of Sports Physio for Maharashtra women's football team was associated with tennis team. She is certified in manual therapy, Dry Needing, Cupping, Trigger Point, Soft tissue release, MFR, Sports Taping, Kinesio Taping, Dynamic Taping. 

Consultation fees: ₹1000

3. Dr. Dimple Kapasi


Dr. Dimple Kapasi runs her own clinic- Dr Dimple Kapasi's Physiotherapy Clinic. She has an experience of 14 years in the field of physiotherapy in India and USA. In her career she has successfully treated people with all age groups from Children to old age. Her areas of expertise are orthopedic, neurology, surgery and pre/post natal conditions. She has conducted various workshops on hip and knee joint replacement in USA with team of orthopedic surgeons.

Consultation fees: ₹1000

4. Dr. Bhavin Parmar


Dr. Kumar is a well known physiotherapist with 9 years of experience. He currently practices at Saachi. His clinic is known for using the best and latest technology in machines for treating any pain and bone related ailments. Areas of specialization are general, orthopedic, neurology, geriatric, sports injuries and joint pain.

Consultation fees: ₹400

5. Dr. Amin A. Khan

MDT(Mc Kenzie) , P.G-Dietitian, N.D.T-( Neuro Development Technic )

Dr. Khan has an experience of 10 years as a physiotherapist. After his pos graduation he has done a specialisation inNutrition and dietetics. He is certified by neuro-ortho institute, Australia. He specialises as Neuromuscular Physiotherapist and is known to practice using advance techniques like dry needling for trigger point and movement enhancement. He also home visits in special cases or you can visit him at Millennium Scan Centre in Kurla Nursing Home, Mumbai

Consultation fees: ₹300

6. Dr. Priti Mehendale

MPTh- Musculo Skeletal Conditions

Dr. Priti Mehendale is a renowned physiotherapist with 15 years of experience in Mumbai. She currently practices at Physiologix - Physical Therapy Centre By Priti Mehendale. She specialises in treating cervical & back pain, obesity, diabetes, PCOD and sport injuries .

Consultation fees: ₹700

7. Dr. Tapan Shah


Dr.Tapan Haresh Shah is consultant physiotherapist with 15 years of experience. He specializes in the field of musculoskeletal and sports. He is good at diagnosing foot problems and providing orthotic prescription. He currently practices at Beyond Movement, Mumbai.

Consultation fees: ₹1000

8. Dr. Deepa Verma


Dr. Deepa Verma has 13 years of experience and practices at Movement For life. She specializes in treatment of coccydynia or tailbone pain. Other than this she also has special interest in cases of post surgery, knee pain, sports, geriatric physical physiotherapy. She is a member of Indian Association of Physiotherapist & Indian Red Cross Society.

Consultation fees: ₹400

9. Dr. Sanjay Bakhshi (PT)

BPTh/BPT, Diploma in Acupuncture, MPTh/MPT - Sports & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Dr. Sanjay Bakhshi is practicing from last 20 years and is currently working as a consultant and neurorehabilitation specialist at his own clinic- Dr Sanjay Bakhshi Physioline. He is pioneer in India for using Robotic Glove Gloreha therapy for the treatment of Paralysis in India. He has treated many cases of paralysis in India including some renowned film personalities like late Mr. Sunil Dutt. 

Consultation fees: ₹1500

10 Dr. Vivek Kakkar


Dr. Vivek Kakkar is a famous physiotherapist who is practicing in Mumbai from last 15 years.  in these fields. He currently runs his own clinic- Dr. Kakkar's Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Center in different parts of Mumbai. He is a certified manual therapist in spine and a member of Indian Association of Physiotherapist.

Consultation fees: ₹550-1000

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 22 year old and I have some acne pits and scars .should I go for skin needling?

MBBS, MD (Skin & V.D. MAMC) - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
U can plan for fractional Laser Welcome to the all new world of cosmetology for- SCAR and TEXTURE MANAGEMENT. Dear sir/ mam, Fractional CO2 LASER with RF is now considered as the gold standard in - scar management worldwide. These lasers work at a deeper layer of the skin resulting in notable improvement in scars. Indications include: 1.Scars on face and any other area scars on face due to acne,-post surgical scar, scar due to trauma or burn, chicken pox scars. Etc. 2.Facial Rejuvenation, for neck and hands improvement. 3.Pigmentation Reduction 4.facial tightening and reduction of wrinkles and open pores. 5.improving the texture of face, neck,,hands, and back. 6.stretch marks reduction 7. Uneven face texture. No. Of sittings and Results may vary depending on the case.
1 person found this helpful

What is platelet rich plasma n dermaroller micro needling. How much it costs n where available in orisa.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Platelet rich plasma is platelets separated from blood and then suspended in plasma and given for low platelet counts. its cost varies and will be less than 1000
1 person found this helpful

I had chicken pox one month ago now I have pockmarks on my face, my scabs were gone 20 days back, now I need to know when will I be eligible for micro needling.

MBBS, PG Diploma In Emergency Trauma Care, Fellowship in Diabetes
General Physician, Delhi
please wait, let them heal on their own and use the silicone gellies. only after few months think about needling
1 person found this helpful

I am 50 years old working govt. Servant. I have chronic calcification tendonitis in Right shoulder. Needing surgery done. Before surgery I can't sleep. It was painful back of shoulder can't sleep on back. After surgery it still paining at movements of my Right hand. Dr.suggest again Needling. I don't want go through Needling surgery. Its very very badly painful. Please suggest what can I do.

Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
You can do hot water fermentation and ice therapy at home. If you have shoulder pain then the stiffness will develop more that might make the arm to have less improvement which might make you to feel more pain the arm.
1 person found this helpful

I am a 27 years old male having Deep Acne scars. I tried many treatments like Co2 Laser, Microdermabrasion, Micro needling, etc, but nothing cured my acne scars. Is there any permanent solution to treat my acne scars.

General Physician, Faridabad
Apple is a miracle fruit for the skin.The alpha hydroxy acids or AHA’s present in apples improves skin color and elasticity of the skin.Soak peeled apple slices in milk for 20 minutes and then blend to form a creamy paste.Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, and then mix a tsp of lemon juice, apply all over your face and neck.Rinse off after 15 minutes with cool water and massage an ice cube.The skin looks baby soft, smooth with a rosy white glow.Follow this for a week to get fair skin naturally. or All the natural ingredients (Tretinoin, Hydroquinone and Cortisone) inlcuded in Melamet have only one goal: to improve your skin tone. Tretinoin helps prevent and treat acne and wrinkles by peeling off dead skin cells. Hydroquinone is the skin lightener agent in this equation that improves the overall tone of your skin. Cortisone is an anti-allergy ingredient that reduces inflammation and/or itching.' How to Use: Use the Melamet Cream just before bedtime. Wash it off in the morning, and apply some sunscreen if you intend to go outdoors. Failure to do so will cause significant damage and even result in your skin turning black.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice