Dry Needling: A New Technique For Eliminating Pain
dry needling patient

Tory Bishop PT, DSc, Cert. MDT, CMTPT with a patient

Dry Needling. It’s among the newest physical therapy trends helping eliminate pain for patients. Because it’s so new, and thanks to the needle in the name, it’s also a treatment that comes with a lot of questions.

No, it’s not acupuncture (dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine), but the needles are the same. Yes, it can hurt just a bit, but that’s when you know it’s working.

Dry Needling is a procedure where a certified physical therapist inserts a sterile, solid filament needle into the skin and muscle of a patient directly into a trigger point to help alleviate pain and other discomfort associated with a variety of conditions.

tory dry needling

Troy Bishop, PT, DSc, Cert. MDT, CMTPT administers Dry Needling on a patient in her Suffolk, Virginia Clinic

If you have poor posture, or have been doing vigorous exercise, your body develops knots, or trigger points. What they actually are is a spasm in the muscle. The trigger point, from the constant spasm creates a blockage for blood to flow properly around the rest of the tissue. That blockage causes cellular waste to build up, which then sends pain around the body.

With dry needling, a physical therapist finds the knot creating the blockage and inserts a needle to release or stop the spasm that creates the knot. With that, the blood flows through and moves the cellular waste away, eliminating pain.

“The types of patients we see for Dry Needling are those who have been in pain for some time because of poor posture or ergonomics at work or home, athletic injuries, headaches and back pain. “ said Bruce Brewer of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Westhampton clinic in Richmond. “Others are current physical therapy patients receiving manual therapy treatments for larger issues and we incorporate dry needling as part of their overall treatment plan.”

Bruce Brewer Dry Needling

Bruce Brewer PT, MSPT, CMTPT uses Dry Needling to ease a patients discomfort


At Tidewater Physical Therapy, we practice a sensible and conservative approach to Dry Needling. While we believe in the benefits and have seen the positive outcomes for our patients first hand, we know it is not right for every patient. Specifically, Dry Needling is not recommended for those on high-dose blood thinners or patients at an increased risk for infection because of blood disorders or those undergoing chemotherapy. For further information about dry needling, visit http://www.tpti.com/DryNeedling.

Dry Needling is offered at the following clinics in Richmond by certified and licensed physical therapists– Powhatan, Brandermill, Westhampton, Mechanicsville, Colonial Heights, Glen Allen.  In Williamsburg at the Advanced Specialty Center.  On the Peninsula – Denbigh, Oyster Point, Hidenwood, and Magruder.  South Hampton Roads – Red Mill, Kempsville, Franklin, Great Bridge and Suffolk.