Williston - (802) 860-4360
Burlington - (802) 657-7990
Shelburne - (802) 985-9360

Dry Needling

Available Locations: Burlington, Williston, Shelburne
A physical therapist performs dry needling on a patient focusing on the arm
A photo of a therapist with a few needles in a patients back as part of dry needling therapy.
A photo of dry needling therapy with a needle inserted into a patients shoulder
A photo of a dry needling procedure

INTEGRATIVE DRY NEEDLING is a highly effective form of physical therapy for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions.


How does it work?

Integrative Dry Needling is NOT acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine) – it is based on neuro-anatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. A sterile fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues considered to be trigger points to your pain. Dry Needling works by causing a microlesion within the pathological tissue, thus breaking up shortened tissues, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. The mechanical and neuromuscular effects provide an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal, which ultimately reduces pain.


Is the procedure painful?

The fine filament needle is very thin, sold, and flexible, which allows for the needle to be pushed through the skin. This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure. A local twitch response of the muscle may be felt at insertion, which is a normal sensation and only felt momentarily. Many patients describe this twitch response as a little electric shock, cramp, or an ache.


How will I feel after treatment?

This will vary but many patients experience immediate relief of their symptoms and an increase in range of motion. Soreness can also be a common response from the needling but does not occur with everyone. Some individuals may experience an immediate achiness or a delayed soreness. If present, the soreness will usually last about 1-2 days and the use of heat, light massage, and movement will help to manage these symptoms. Mild bruising may occur at the needling sites and is more prevalent in certain parts of the body. Larger bruising is rare. Application of ice on the bruise will help with the soreness and the skin discoloration will last several days but is not harmful.


Will I continue to receive other treatments?

Yes, your personalized physical therapy program will still integrate traditional physical therapy methods including manual techniques, therapeutic exercise, aquatic therapy, endurance training, stabilization and posture training.


Is Dry Needling covered by my health insurance?

Dry needling is a physical therapy treatment and is not acupuncture; however, it is currently not a covered benefit for most health insurances that we accept.  In response to this, we offer the service as a self-pay option to your care. The dry needling will be billed as a charge separate from your processed insurance charges and we will collect payment for this on the day of the service, as we do for co-pays.  Please be prepared for this each time you receive this treatment.  Pricing will depend on the complexity of your treatment, which will be determined by your therapist in a short assessment.


Not all medical or physical therapy professionals are trained to perform the Integrative Dry Needling treatment technique. The physical therapists in this clinic have advanced training and have been certified through Dr. Ma’s Integrative Dry Needling Institute LLC.