Abstract: Dry needling is an invasive procedure using solid filament needles to treat myofascial pain and dysfunction. It is becoming a widely used adjunct to traditional physiotherapy treatment. Despite its rate of growth there still remains questions marks over the effectiveness of dry needling and its potential to cause adverse events. Recent reviews largely agree that there is an improvement in the patient’s pain and range of motion in the short term when compared to no treatment, but evidence remains inconclusive for long term effects. Dry needling is an invasive therapy and clinicians need to have an appropriate indication for providing dry needling therapy while also determining whether the therapy will place the patient under any unacceptable risk of adverse events. One paper found the rate of mild adverse events to be as high as19.18%. The most common adverse events experienced were bleeding, bruising and pain during or following treatment. To minimise the risk of adverse events treating clinicians should receive appropriate training and certification to provide dry needling therapies. This commentary aims to present the most current evidence surrounding dry needling effectiveness, safety profile and the need for appropriate levels of professional competence.
Keywords: Dry needling, trigger points, myofascial pain, adverse