Dry Needling for Knee Pain – Explained

It can be difficult to explain dry needling to someone who is not a medical professional. When done by a trained provider, it doesn’t cause much pain. Dry needling is less painful than an injection with a hypodermic needle. Dry needling knee pain is less painful than other types of needle injections. The “dry” needles don’t have hollow insides, which means they cause less tissue injury. Let’s look at dry needling for knee pain.

This post will discuss dry needling and treating knee pain. Questions such as:

  • How does it feel?
  • How many needles can you dry when you treat a knee pain issue?
  • What number of dry needling treatments do you need to relieve knee pain?

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How does it feel?

Dry needling for knee pain can be done by a trained professional. It isn’t painful at all. Dry needling is not pain-free. Dry needling can cause pain that lasts a considerable amount of time. You can expect some discomfort, which is usually similar to post-workout muscle soreness to last between 12 and 48 hours. Everybody has a different pain threshold. It often depends on how severe your knee pain was in the first instance.

Dry needling will focus on trigger points in your muscles. Trigger points are taut muscle fibers that produce pain and are the main cause of “myofascial painful syndrome”.

Your provider will stimulate a trigger point at the knee using a needle to produce a muscle twitch reaction. This triggers a muscle spasm or twitch. It can feel strange when your muscle twitches on its own. However, once the trigger point has been dry needled, the twitching will cease and your muscle will relax. Dry needling for knee pain can cause this discomfort. However, the twitch response can be relieving!

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How many muscles can you dry a needle in a knee problem?

It depends. It all depends on the cause of your knee pain, how the tissues and muscles around your knee feel with palpation and how they function. Dry needling knee pain is done conservatively to assess the patient’s tolerance. I usually needle between 4-8 muscles, but this depends on the area that is causing your pain. These are the muscles I treat most often when dry needling my knee pain.

  • Muscles of the lower leg I could dry a needle for knee pain: Gastrocnemius and soleus.
  • The front muscles of the thigh may be affected by knee pain. Vastus medialis and vastus medialis are the most common.
  • Muscles in the back of the thigh I could dry need for knee pain: Biceps Femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus.
  • Muscles on the inside and outside thighs I can dry the needle for knee pain: TFL or Adductor Magnus.
  • The muscles of the back hip may dry the needle for knee pain: Gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.

Keep in mind that I don’t dry trigger points on all the muscles. Your information about your injury and the trigger points that cause your knee pain will guide my treatment.

What number of dry needling treatments do you need to relieve knee pain?

Sometimes, dry needling for knee pain can relieve pain quickly. I rarely end up treating these patients. When we first start, I recommend 4-6 treatments. Dry needling knee pain can make knee pain go away. Some patients will experience relief, but not all. We can determine if dry needling is going to work by completing 4-6 sessions. If the goal is to relieve knee pain, I recommend that you continue with dry needling.

I won’t ask you to sign up for a lengthy treatment plan without first determining if dry needling for your knee pain will work for you. It’s a waste of time and money if it’s not working. Remember that I will also give you a home rehabilitation program and use other supportive therapies to help you get relief from your knee pain.

You can find more information about dry needling for knee pain by contacting us!

>>> Dry Needling Des Moines

Oakland, CA Pain Management Clinic

Dr. Ben Bagge

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."
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