Dry needling is a well-regarded treatment for trigger points and muscular tension, but how long do the benefits of the treatment actually last, and how many sessions will clients need to achieve long-term benefits? In this article we discuss the various benefits of dry needling, how long they typically last, and what clients can do to prolong their results.
So, how long do the benefits of dry needling last? After their first dry needling appointment, clients can expect benefits to last for several days. However, with subsequent appointments, clients can expect benefits to last longer each time, resulting in long-term benefits. Although, timeframes can vary from person to person.
Read on to learn more about dry needling benefits, and how long they typically last.
How Long Do You Feel the Benefits of Dry Needling?
After initial treatment, the effects of dry needling typically last several days. However, with each additional treatment, clients can expect the effects to last longer each time as a result of ongoing muscle relaxation and a return to regular muscle function(1).
It is important to note that, whilst the above timeframes are an average representation of dry needling clients, results will vary from person to person, on their individual circumstances, health status, and the severity of their condition.
What are Some Dry Needling Benefits?
The key aim of dry needling is to alleviate pain and muscle tightness, without using drugs, but below you’ll find a number of other dry needling benefits that clients may achieve(2).
Relieves Muscle Tightness and Pain
Dry needling targets the origin point of the pain (the trigger point), to which dry needling forces the muscle to contract and relax, restoring normal function. This relieves both tightness and tension in the muscles, and helps to relieve pain.
This benefit can be felt immediately after treatment, but is likely to become more pronounced after multiple treatments. Learn more about how long dry needling takes to work in our recent blog.
Improves Range of Motion
When dry needling releases muscle tightness, tension, and trigger points, it also helps to improve or restore range of motion. In turn, this has a knock-on effect of improving overall function and reducing general discomfort.
Recovering from some injuries can take months, which can be a particular problem for athletes and those with active lifestyles. However, dry needling has the potential to speed up recovery, and help clients get back to proper function faster than other therapies.
This may be a result of the muscle relaxing, but may also be in response to increased blood flow which delivers essential oxygen and nutrients to the injured area(3, 4).
What Can I Do to Prolong the Benefits of Dry Needling?
After treatment, there are a few things that clients can do to both reduce the onset of expected aches and pains (akin to DOMS), and to help prolong dry needling benefits(5). These include:
- Increase their water intake
- Gentle workout or stretching
- Engage in normal physical activity (i.e. go about their day as normal)
- Massage the area
- Use of heat or ice to alleviate soreness
- Continue to take any medication as prescribed
On the other hand, it is recommended that clients do not undertake unfamiliar physical activity, do not increase their physical activity beyond the norm, and avoid alcohol.
How Often Should I Have Dry Needling to Achieve the Benefits?
As previously stated, dry needling benefits will last for several days after a single session, and clients may receive instant relief from that initial session, but results will last for longer with multiple sessions.
It is recommended, particularly for more severe cases, that a minimum of three dry needling sessions are needed, to a schedule of 1 session per week for 3 weeks, in order to achieve long-term results(6).
Dry Needling Courses at Breeze Academy
If you’re a healthcare professional interested in expanding your practice offerings. Breeze Academy offers a number of CPD courses that provide all of the skills, knowledge, and qualifications required to practise new therapies.
We offer comprehensive dry needling courses in all major cities across the UK, which are consistently rated 5-stars by other healthcare professionals. Take a look at our foundation dry needling course online, or get in touch with us for more information.
Did you know that we also offer CPD courses in sports massage training, clinical yoga teacher training, and strength and conditioning training? Take a look online today and kickstart your learning and development with Breeze Academy.
Southern Rehab & Sports Medicine - Dry Needling FAQs
Foothills Rehab - Dry Needling: Benefits and What to Expect
Southern New Hampshire Health - Dry Needling Gives You That 'Twitch Response'
Health Essentials - Dry Needling: How This Time-Tested Method Sticks it to Muscle Pain
Ortho Bethesda - Dry Needling Treatment in Bethesda, MD
6. Very Well Health - What Is Dry Needling?