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Dry Needling

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Sinead Brogan is a Chartered Physiotherapist and runs FlexPhysio Physiotherapy Clinic at Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. To book an appointment or ask a question call Sinead at 083 1722171 


What is dry needling?

Dry Needling is a treatment that involves insertion of a fine filament (acupuncture) needle directly into myofascial (muscular) trigger points (TrP) which are tight, tender knots within the muscle. These TrP’s cause and contribute to pain within the body and develop in the muscle. They are caused by various stresses i.e. postural, repetitive motion, overuse, psychological, emotional etc.  When muscles develop TrP’s, they remain tight and can cause limited range of joint motion and reduction of normal functional activities of the body. Pain from TrP’s can mimic the path of nerve pain and regularly affect the arm, leg, chest and jaw.

 Is it the same as acupuncture?

No. Although Dry Needling uses the same needles as Acupuncture, it is not the same technique. Dry Needling is based upon Western medicine principles of treating myofascial trigger points, which are different to traditional Acupuncture points.

 The science

Research has shown that pain producing chemicals are located at an active trigger point causing pain and movement problems with the muscle, consequently affecting the local nerves and joints. The dry needle causes a local twitch response (LTR) in the active trigger point, which decreases the spontaneous electrical activity and reduces the irritating chemicals at the TrP.

What will you feel?

Patients often feel a cramping sensation from the twitch response. This ‘twitch’ is required to provide a therapeutic outcome. There may be some soreness after treatment as with many manual techniques. This can last from one hour up to two days after treatment.  In some cases exercise may need to be modified for a day or two after needling. Dry Needling is used as an addition to regular manual therapy that a physiotherapist uses (ie) It will be used in conjunction with conventional physiotherapist techniques such as massage, joint movement, stretches, etc. You will be advised on the correct exercises to perform in conjunction with your treatment and these will be progressed with time to complete your rehabilitation, thus hastening your return to function and activity.

Treatment of musculoskeletal conditions

There are many conditions which can be treated with Dry Needling. These include Back/ neck pain; Postural problems/tension; Sports injuries (including hamstring , groin and calf strain; runner’s knee; tennis and golfers elbow); Arm Pain (frozen shoulder, impingement); Buttock/leg pain (including sciatic pain); Pelvic pain; Headaches; Jaw pain and Muscle tightness/cramps. This list is not exhaustive.

Physiotherapy service in Whelehans

Chartered Physiotherapist Sinead Brogan MISCP runs FlexPhysio Physiotherapy Service in the therapy rooms at Whelehans Pharmacy in Mullingar. Sinead has an Honours Physiotherapy degree and has experience  working in Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar and private practice in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland, treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues including acute and chronic sports injuries, repetitive strain and postural problems, spinal dysfunctions and pregnancy related issues. Sinead has also completed a Masters in Neuromuscular Physiotherapy in UCD. Sinead is interested in sports injuries, having worked with many Gaelic and rugby teams providing pitch-side cover. Sinead is a Stott Pilates instructor and teaches pre and post-partum pregnancy, beginners and intermediate Pilate’s classes. She is also a Trigger Point Dry Needling practitioner and uses this technique with great results.  Reduced physiotherapy rates for over 60’s and affiliated sport clubs. Contact Sinead at 083 1722171 or

FlexPhysio Physiotherapy service at Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar (Opposite the Greville Arms Hotel). Book by calling Sinead at 083 1722171


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