Dry needling is an increasingly popular therapeutic technique used to alleviate pain, improve muscle function, and enhance mobility. While it can be highly beneficial for many individuals, it’s not suitable for everyone. In this blog, we’ll explore who stands to benefit the most from it and who should avoid it.

Who Would Most Benefit from Dry Needling?

  1. People with Muscle Pain and Tension:
    • Dry needling is particularly effective for individuals experiencing muscle pain, stiffness, or tension. If you have chronic or acute musculoskeletal pain, this therapy may provide relief by targeting trigger points and releasing tight muscles.
  2. Athletes and Active Individuals:
    • Athletes often find it valuable for improving muscle function and reducing the risk of injury. It can help enhance range of motion, flexibility, and overall performance.
  3. Those with Chronic Pain Conditions:
    • People suffering from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, or tension headaches may benefit from this form of treatment. This technique can help manage pain and improve their quality of life.
  4. Individuals with Restricted Mobility:
    • Dry needling can be particularly helpful for those with limited mobility due to muscle tightness or injury. By releasing muscle knots and tension, it can enhance movement and overall functionality.
  5. Patients Seeking Minimally-Invasive Treatment:
    • For individuals who prefer minimally-invasive and drug-free treatment options, it can be an attractive choice. It doesn’t involve surgery or medication, making it a low-risk approach.

Who Should Avoid Dry Needling? (Contraindications)

  1. Allergies to Metals:
    • Those with reactions to chromium or nickel should avoid this form of treatment.
  2. Compromised Immune System:
    • Those dealing with compromised immune system should avoid this form of treatment. Examples of medical conditions that can compromise the immune system are HIV, hepatitis, diabetes, and active cancer.
  3. Pregnant Women:
    • Pregnant women should generally avoid dry needling, particularly in the abdominal and lower back regions, to prevent any potential harm to the fetus. Consult with a healthcare provider for alternative pain management options.
  4. People with Needle Phobias:
    • If you have a strong fear of needles, it may not be the best choice for you, as it can cause anxiety and discomfort.
  5. Individuals with Skin Infections or Open Wounds:
    • This form of treatmnt should not be performed on areas with skin infections, open wounds, or ulcers. The procedure may introduce bacteria and worsen the condition.
  6. Bleeding or Clotting Disorders:
    • People with bleeding or clotting disorders, such as hemophilia, should avoid dry needling, as it can increase the risk of bleeding and complications.
  7. Patients on Blood Thinners:
    • If you’re taking blood-thinning medications, it might lead to excessive bleeding and bruising. It’s essential to consult your healthcare provider before considering this treatment.

Important to Note:

It is important to note that dry needling should not be used alone, but rather to complement other  treatment options such as exercise, manual therapy, postural correction, and self release techniques.


Dry needling offers a promising solution for individuals dealing with muscle pain and limited mobility, providing effective relief for various conditions. While it can be beneficial for many, it’s crucial to be aware of contraindications to ensure a safe and suitable experience.

If you’re considering dry needling and believe this form of treatment could benefit you, take the first step by calling North 49 at 306-343-7776 to book a IMS/Dry Needling Initial Assessment. One of our physiotherapists can provide a comprehensive assessment to determine if this is an appropriate treatment option for you and what complementary treatment options are appropriate. You can also book your IMS/Dry Needling Initial Assessment online through our website.

If you’re unsure whether it’s the right choice, we encourage you to check out this blog post or give us a call.

Don’t let muscle pain hold you back – discover the potential benefits of dry needling with North 49 Physical Therapy today!