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Why Do I Needle, and When Do I Not?

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

In my journey, I've embraced a variety of therapeutic techniques to help my patients find relief and regain their health. Dry needling has been one such technique that has garnered both praise and skepticism, especially when it comes to its status as an evidence-based practice.


From where I stand, dry needling has more to do with being "evidence-informed" than simply "evidence-based." Here's how I see it: It's very easy to needle, but a good physiotherapist should also know when not to needle.


Dry needling isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. With my experience, I've learned the

importance of clinical reasoning and patient-centered care. It means that I apply this technique to those who will benefit most, taking into account their unique needs and conditions.


The safety of the patient is crucial. One of the key aspects of an evidence-informed practice is adhering to safety guidelines. This means following strict sterilization protocols, verifying the qualifications of practitioners, and ensuring that patients are fully informed about potential risks.


Never needle someone who is not consenting or simply doesn't want to be needled, no matter how promising the technique might be. It's about recognizing the individual's right to choose their path to healing.


The power to desensitize sensitive patients is something truly remarkable. But it doesn't end there. Dry needling's reach extends to conditions like tendinopathy. With each precise insertion of the needle, there is a rigorous clinical reasoning process.



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