Who Benefits from Dry Needling?
Not every person undergoing physical therapy will benefit from dry needling. However, a large number of conditions can be effectively treated with the practice. These include:
- Muscle spasms
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tennis or Golf Elbow
- Frozen Shoulder
- Acute and chronic injuries
- Athletic and overuse injuries
- Edema (swelling)
- Poor circulation
Who May Not Benefit from Dry Needling
Dry needling is specifically used to address pain and stiffness related to the muscles, joints, the spine, and nervous system. However, there are some reasons people seek physical therapy and benefit from the practice without benefitting from dry needling. Certain precautions include having impaired sensation, a fear of needles, history of fainting, and/or being pregnant.
Who Can Perform Dry Needling?
There are several courses and organizations that certify Licensed Physical Therapists to perform Dry Needling. Some techniques are different than others, so it may be beneficial to talk to your provider about the specific training they had.
Most reputable providers of dry needling are also physical therapists who use the treatment as a part of their practice. You can use the directory from the American Physical Therapy Association to begin a search.
Average Cost of Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture
The cost of both acupuncture and dry needling will vary based on your location, provider, and insurance coverage. You should also consider whether the session is part of a package of services, is a single session, or requires a follow-up.
The average cost of dry needling is about $60 per session, and most physical therapists will recommend 3 to 6 sessions. However, this will usually be part of a treatment plan and used in conjunction with other services, so it may not be itemized in this way.
Acupuncture more commonly costs between $100 and $300 per session. Many times, a single session is all that is recommended, but follow-up may be needed.
Is Dry Needling Worth the Cost?
For most people, dry needling is a part of an overall physical therapy practice and not a standalone treatment. This may mean it’s covered by insurance as well. The benefits of reduced pain, improved function, and increased mobility are usually worth even the out-of-pocket cost for dry needling sessions. Because it can increase the effectiveness of physical therapy, adding sessions may also increase the value derived from overall treatment plans as well.