Dry Needle Therapy

What to Expect after Dry Needling Treatments?

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a manual therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or fascia with a goal of increasing blood flow in an injured region and stimulating a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is NOT Oriental Medicine Acupuncture, that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the energy flow (“chi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of disease. Therapeutic Dry Needling IS a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, back pain, sciatica, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and more.

Dry Needle Therapy

How will I feel after Dry Needling?

You may be sore right after treatment where Dry Needle Therapy was applied. This does not always happen, but it is normal.  Soreness may last for a few hours or even a few days. The soreness is different for each person, but usually feels like you had a hard workout at the gym.  It is important to tell your provider at your next visit how long the soreness lasted, as this can help them gauge their treatment approach to your individual response.

Bruising from Dry Needling is possible.  Some body areas, including portions of the arms, legs, shoulders, and chest are more likely to bruise than other areas. Large bruising is quite uncommon but may happen.  If you are worried about bruising post-treatment, please call us and your Pro Chiropractic provider would be happy to discuss your response to TDN.

What should I do after my dry needling treatment?


Within hours you should start feeling great after your TDN session!  In order to get the best response, we recommend resting the treated area immediately following treatment.  Intense exercise and strenuous activities directly affecting the treated areas should be avoided for a minimum of 24 hours.  It probably is not a good idea to try new sporting or physical activities until cleared by your clinician.

We are big fans of applying heat following therapeutic dry needling.  Moist heat applied directly to the treatment area for at least 15 minutes is best, like a hot tub soak or a moist heat pack.  Icing the treated area is usually not the best idea, as the approach behind dry needling is to create a controlled local blood flow increase and a targeted inflammatory response in the treated area.  Ice slows or stops this response in the target tissues!

Anti-inflammatory medication do a similar thing as icing, and limit your body’s response to dry needle therapy.  We generally recommend limiting or stopping the use of over the counter (OTC) anti inflammatory medications following TDN.  These include aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc. Many prescription meds do the same thing, but please DO NOT stop taking any prescribed meds until you have consulted with your doctor.

It is always a good idea to hydrate fully following a manual therapy treatment.  This is especially true with dry needle therapy! We recommend drinking 100% of your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water daily for the next 48 hours following your dry needle treatment.  Example: Patient weighing 150lbs should drink 150 ounces of water.

What can be done instead of Dry Needling?

Many people have a general fear of needles, and even though the needles applied in dry needling are small, comfortable and quite safe, at Pro Chiropractic you have many treatment options.

You can choose not to do any treatment and see if the condition gets better on its own.  We provide other choices with similar treatment effects including: soft tissue mobilization, IASTM, pulse wave therapy, cupping therapy, and joint manipulation.

Dry Needle

Post Dry Needling Treatment Recommendations:

  • Rest treated area for 24 hours
  • Avoid strenuous / athletic activities for 48 hours
  • Apply heat to treated tissues for 15 minutes every 3 hours
  • No OTC anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aspirin, Aleve)
  • Increase water intake


Who cannot receive Dry Needle Therapy?

  • Pregnant Patients


Because of it’s overall effect on the body and the lack of research into the effect of TDN on the fetus, pregnant patients should NOT receive dry needle therapy.

Dry needle therapy is safe and Pro Chiropractic clinicians must receive advanced training prior to treating patients.


Dry Needling Informed Consent

For your review:  The following form must be reviewed and signed prior to application of dry needle therapy at Pro Chiropractic


If you are feeling light headed, or have trouble breathing, chest pain, or any other symptoms that concern you after treatment present to the ED and call your doctor right away. If you have other questions or concerns call Pro Chiropractic at (406) 388-9915

Bozeman, MT Address

2405 W Main St Ste 8, Bozeman, MT 59718

Belgrade, MT Address

8757 Jackrabbit Ln A, Belgrade, MT 59714

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