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Dry Needling

Dry-Needling-Bon-SecoursIntramuscular manual therapy, also known as trigger point dry needling, can be an effective alternative to traditional treatment methods for eliminating chronic pain caused by trigger points. Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Any areas where muscles are sore or active trigger points are identified may benefit from dry needling. This is an advanced procedure that requires additional training, including greater than 54 hours of intensive course work. Physical therapists at Bon Secours In Motion utilize the Myopain Seminars for their education.

Dry needling differs from acupuncture in that acupuncture uses needles placed in acupuncture points in the skin that correct imbalances of flow or ‘qi’ through channels, known as Meridians, whereas dry needling attempts to decrease pain by needling individual trigger points. The philosophies and intent of both interventions are very different.

In the US, dry needling is a relatively new method for treating myofascial pain and not everyone is aware of this effective modality.

The Procedure

Dry needling is a therapeutic procedure in which a solid filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point to decrease or eliminate local and/or referred pain. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple contracted knots which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.

Side Effects and Risks

Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. The elicitation of local twitch responses is a desirable reaction because of the positive therapeutic response. Only single-use sterile disposable needles are used. Most patients report being sore after the procedure. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.


Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. Again, the goal is to try to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed is expected.

What to Expect Afterwards

Depending on the amount of soreness the individual experiences in response to the treatment, it is recommended that the patient applies heat or ice over the area, as well as perform gentle stretches and modify general activities.

Questions? Contact one of our locations for more information on this therapy.

Our Locations

In Motion at Hilltop
1817 Laskin Rd., Suite 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Phone: (757) 437-0471
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In Motion at High Street
3300 High Street, Suite 1A
Portsmouth, VA 23707
Phone: (757) 673-5689
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In Motion at Portsmouth YMCA
4900 High St W
Portsmouth, VA 23703
Phone: (757) 483-4518
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In Motion at Town Center
4677 Columbus St. Suite 201
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: (757) 463-2540
Fax: (757) 463-2554
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In Motion at Hanbury Crossing
Hanbury Village Shopping Center
235 Hanbury Road East
Chesapeake, VA 23322
Phone: (757) 391-7660
Fax: (757) 391-7665
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In Motion at Boo Williams Sportsplex
Boo Williams Sportsplex
5 Armistead Pointe Parkway
Hampton, Virginia 23666
Phone: (757) 224-4601
Fax: (757) 224-4618
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In Motion at Ghent Station
930 W. 21st St., Suite 105
Norfolk, VA 23517
Phone: (757) 738-1500
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In Motion at DePaul
Norfolk Fitness & Wellness Center
7300 Newport Ave., Ste. 300
Norfolk, VA 23505
Phone: (757) 217-0333
Fax: (757) 217-0344
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In Motion at Eagle Harbor
13609 Carrollton Boulevard, Suite 15
Carrollton, Virginia 23314
Phone: (757) 238-2690
Fax: (757) 238-2691
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In Motion at Portsmouth YMCA
4900 High Street West
Portsmouth, VA 23703
Phone: (757) 483-4518
Fax: (757) 483-3249
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In Motion at Redmill
1253 Nimmo Parkway, Suite 105
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 943-3060
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