Dry Needling Within Your Osteopathic Management

Applying dry needling alongside other traditional hands-on osteopathic techniques as a part of a comprehensive osteopathic management plan provides another valuable tool to support our patients to better health.

Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure, typically lasting between 5-12 minutes involving gentle insertion of single use, sterile needles between 0.25mm and 0.30mm wide. The sites for needle insertion are very individualised and specific, therefore a thorough understanding of these muscular structures is required to achieve the greatest benefit for the patient in the safest manner. The effectiveness of dry needling is determined by the specificity of needle placement and needling technique used.

Needle penetration at specific sites within muscular tissue, fascia and tendons results in mechanical stimulation of the surrounding tissues which can improve healing capacity and reduce healing time by:

  • reducing tissue tension (muscle, fascia, tendon, ligament)

  • increasing blood flow

  • relaxing the nervous system

What conditions is dry needling commonly used for at Head 2 Toe Health?

  • tendonitis/tendinosis (tennis elbow, golfers elbow, supraspinatus, bicep etc.)
  • muscle strains or tears
  • tight and painful muscles
  • lower back pain
  • headaches
  • ankle sprains
  • knee pain (osteoarthritis, ligament injuries)
  • neck pain and headaches


What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

In acupuncture, needles are applied to a Chinese or Japanese Medicine system (Eastern medicine). However, in dry needling, placement is directly correlated to an area of tension such as a myofascial trigger point, or tissue damage such as tendonitis or ligament sprain. Myofascial trigger points are a localized hypersensitive spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle tissue that can cause muscle pain, stiffness and impact performance.

Every osteopathic treatment at Head 2 Toe Health involves a thorough medical history, comprehensive physical examination, formulation of a diagnosis, presentation of management plan including lifestyle advice and education on how to maintain the benefits of treatment long term...and the one on one hands on treatment. The direct benefits of dry needling when used in conjunction with other osteopathic treatment techniques can reduce musculoskeletal pain, accelerate healing, improve joint range of motion and allow the body to move with greater freedom.

If you are currently suffering from musculoskeletal pain, soft tissue injury, tendon issues etc please contact us to discuss your options, including using dry needling as part of your osteopathic management to stimulate muscular repair, accelerate healing and have you back on the road to achieving your goals faster.


Luke D. Rickards. Therapeutic needling in osteopathic practice: An evidence-informed perspective. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 12 (2009).

Kalichman L, Vulfsons S,. Dry Needling in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

September–October 2010 Vol. 23 No. 5

Written by Dr. Edward Murphy Brown B.Clin.Sc (Osteo) M.Health.Sc (Osteo) and Dr. Jess Harvey B.Sc. (Anat, Phys), B.Ap.Sci (Comp. Med.), Ma Osteo., Registered Osteopath and Director of Head 2 Toe Health.

We provide Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching and Counselling in Springwood (Brisbane) and Oxenford (Gold Coast). We aim to get you as well as possible, as fast as possible, permanently. We believe in a thorough approach to restoring and maintaining health and address many aspects of our lifestyles that can contribute to pain, stiffness, dis-ease and disease. For any further information, please contact us on info@head2toehealth.com.au or 07) 3208 8308.

This information is intended as a general guide only and is not specific for any particular condition or situation. This information is for educational purposes only. Please seek specific advice for your individual circumstances.