Dry Needling Physiotherapy Group

·         What is Dry Needling

Dry needling is a form of physical therapy used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. It is an invasive form of myofascial release in which thin, flexible needles are inserted into the body. The places the needles are placed in the body is determined by accurate anatomical knowledge based on sound scientific reasoning within a biomedical paradigm.  This is different to acupuncture, which is a treatment technique related to Chinese Medicine, and takes a philosophical rather than empirical approach to the body. 

·         For which conditions can Dry Needling be used

Dry needling can be used to treat many musculoskeletal conditions.  It is very important to realise that using the technique outside of a balanced, professionally designed treatment regime that includes therapeutic exercise, manual therapy and patient education is not desirable.  That said, the technique is effective in treating back and neck pain, muscle strains, tight and painful scars, headaches, shoulder pain, and a myriad of other problems related to the muscles, pain and how the body copes with these. 

·         What are the Side Effects of Dry Needling

There are relatively few side effects, which is one of the great advantages of this effective therapy.  The more common ones include discomfort from the needling procedure, bruising, and occasionally a very small amount of bleeding.  Less commonly, patients may experience transient feelings of drowsiness, euphoria, tearfulness, sweating or chills.    

·         How Does It Work?

Dry needling works in at least 3 different ways depending on what you do with the needle.  Firstly, the simple insertion of a needle and the subsequent stimulation of the needle gives you a rush of natural painkillers called opioids, and a feel good hormone called serotonin.  These actively reduce your pain, and this enables you to exercsise more effectively.  Secondly, using a needle to stimulate a trigger point in a muscle frees the muscle up to work more efficiently by causing it to twitch and release.  This helps the local muscle to both contract and lengthen better, and will allow you to have more power and better flexibility in the muscle.  This also reduces local muscle pain.  Thirdly, by using a combination of needles in different parts of the biomechanical system, your therapist can help you align and balance out your movement patterns as a whole.  The exact reasons for the undoubted success of all three approaches is quite complex, and requires a longer explaination.  

·         Which Medical Aids Cover Dry Needling

Medical aids in South Africa all share a billing code system with recognised treatment codes.  Dry needling has its own code, and will be paid for by your medical aid if they would normally pay for physiotherapy treatment.

Committee Members


Designated Position Tel No Email address
Bruce Barker Chair Person 011 693 5041
Lesley Meyer Vice Chair  
Ingrid Bishop Treasurer 011 575 3886
Cheryl Ross Secretary (F)
  • Note Audit Sheet

Provincial Branches

Gauteng Limpopo Mpumalanga Kwazulu Natal Free State Western Cape Eastern Cape Northern Cape North West