Dry needling is an effective way to manage pain, improve muscle movement, and relieve tightness and soreness in the body. Dry needling is a powerful tool to help repair your body and improve your quality of life. Like many others, you may be wondering: how long does dry needling take to work?

What is dry needling?

Dry needling shares similarities with acupuncture but is not acupuncture. In dry needling, very thin needles are inserted directly into the muscle in anatomy-specific locations to manage pain. Conversely, in acupuncture, the needles are inserted into traditional Chinese meridians to alter the flow of energy in the body. Dry needling does not use medicated needles, is usually painless, and can provide immediate relief.

Layers of the muscle that cannot normally be reached through massage or physical therapy can be treated in dry needling. A single session of dry needling can treat both individual problem areas and general muscle fatigue.

How long does dry needling take to work?

Many patients see immediate relief following a dry needling session. A small portion of people experience muscle fatigue, dizziness, or drowsiness after dry needling, but these symptoms usually go away quickly. After you adjust to the treatment, muscle soreness will decrease and results will become more noticeable immediately following sessions.

For acute pain, only one session of dry needling may be needed. Most people experience peak improvement for this type of pain within 24 to 48 hours.

To achieve the maximum benefits of dry needling, multiple sessions may be required. It may take 2 to 3 sessions to notice improvement of chronic or deep pain. If you have chronic pain, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about scheduling weekly sessions to maintain the beneficial long-term results of dry needling.

With a typical session taking around 30 minutes, dry needling is a safe, fast, and effective procedure to manage muscle pain, soreness, and other ailments in the body.