Dry Needling Experience | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Dry Needling Experience

In New York State both physical therapists and chiropractors are not allowed to dry needle. I have therefore not taken any courses, nor experienced this useful technique.

As many of you may remember from last week, I sought the help of Drs. Zac Cupples and Perry Nickelston for radiating right LE pain and paraesthesia due to static position intolerance. I was extremely worried about the 11 hour flight from Atlanta to Chile, which was tolerable, but there was definitely some discomfort.

Both TheraAdvance instructors have been using TDN for some time and instruct it along with EDGE IASTM, and kinesiotaping in their seminars. Since many of my blog readers often ask about TDN, I thought I would experience it myself and shoot a video in the process.

Since my complaints were predominantly right sided, I was unable to get my right QL to release under different means. WTH, why not stick a big needle in it, move it around and see what happens?

To review, MSR to the right, sidebending, and sidegliding to the right were all DP. Hip flexion was also DP both actively and passively. The trunk motions had improved with the PRI program suggested by Zac, and the hip flexion had improved thanks to Perry's self iliacus release suggestion. However, sidegliding in standing and MSR were still DP.

I definitely was not sure what to expect, if it would be painful or not. Hernavan performed both common techniques, the rapid “poking” to elicit a twitch response and the slow twist to mobilize soft tissue. I found the typically more aggressive poking to be more comfortable, but only for a very short time was the twitch response uncomfortable in my distal QL. I barely felt anything at all.

Here's the vid, it's about 20 minutes long.

To summarize, now, my SGIS and MSR to the right are both FN, and my QL has not felt this soft in years! I purposely did not do any exercise to lock in the effects to see how long they last, and 3 days later, the QL is still FN to touch, and my 11 hour flight back did not have any issues at all! Thanks again to both Hernavan and Nelson for sharing their knowledge. Hernavan was a bit nervous because he is not used to explaining the process in English, so he apologizes for lack of better description and his accent. My Mus-scull is released!

Staying Eclectic and getting free hits from groaning soma simpletons....


  1. The joys of being a UK therapist and not having to worry about your silly laws!!!!

  2. Love the comment by Jon, watching Downton Abbey now I am reading his words with a British accent!

    Glad you had a good response. Doubtful ill watch the 20 min vid! But thanks for sharing.

    Sometimes DN just works and much less effort from the clinician. I've found very good results but also I don't do it on everyone, only subgroups that I feel it will work well on.

    I explain to my students that some joints and tissues need either a HVLAT or DN and respond better to it. You can sit there and mob or do Myofascial work forever and don't get anywhere.

    These quicker techniques are Like using an auger instead of post hole digger to dig a hole. The student gets it...but only after I explain what a post hole digger is!


  3. Hi Erson, glad you got such a positive response. I've been using DN for years and find it very rewarding, in conjunction with all the other strings we have on our bow! If you ever take a trip it Ireland, I'd be more than happy to DN your QL for you. You'd be fit enough for all the jigs....

  4. Hi Erson, just curious, did the needling have an effect on the paresthesia?

  5. Karine, thanks for asking. It's almost completely gone.

  6. HV, it sure seems like a useful tool. Hoping we get to do it in New York before I retire!

  7. Yes, it's ridiculous we don't have a national practice act and that it differs by states

  8. My patients frequently do not feel 'weak' but 'sore.' They exhibit marked gains in MMT. 4-/5 with pain to 5/5 no pain. It's great during eval for " buy in value," for pt having difficulty in holding abd position and then holding against full therapist pressures.

  9. I was a tad sore, but nothing I would ever complain about, felt like a workout more than anything. My only drawback was that the technique to release my two TrPs in my QL took 15 minutes, and I feel like that was long for two techniques. Is this common or was it just my QL in particular being quite hypertonic?

  10. Not typical, but my coworker had a thirty minute release in subocc muscle of headache pt.
    My QL releases have usually lasted five minutes or less.
    I think you had more chronically tight condition and/or the technique he used wound adjacent fascia for more globally affect.
    l utilize tissue winding when patients don't tolerate repeat needling to multiple trigger points in nearby regions or for larger treatment area with one pass of needle. Many useful techniques, I hope NY gets approval soon!

  11. That is a little long. If I use tissue winding and the tissue takes a while to relax I perform some really gentle low amplitude non lubricated massage around the needle. This helps speed it up.

  12. I actually preferred the rapid in and out as opposed to the slow fascial winding, but that's perhaps b/c I got the twitch with the winding.

  13. Congratulations, that you have got relief from your problem because it is the situation in which the patient is always in panic and hopes to get relief soon. Here comes the need of acupuncture techniques which are the most old techniques used in China to give relief to its ninjas through pricking dry needles in the specific parts of their body and make them ready for the practice.