The Benefits of Dry Needling for Performance

Acupuncture and Dry Needling

Derived from Chinese medicine, dry needling is a holistic therapy that involves inserting a thin, sterile needle into the muscle to release knots in soft tissue, known as myofascial trigger points. It can be used for musculoskeletal injuries, headaches and other pain relief, and to improve physical performance. The physiotherapists and remedial massage therapists at Physio Connex can use it as part of a larger treatment plan for pain and athletic performance.

While acupuncture has been used for over 2,500 years, needling has recently become a popular option for athletes looking for a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical performance advantage. It is used to enhance energy levels, assist in recovery and trigger the body’s natural healing response. Athletes can utilise needling throughout each stage – pregame, postgame and in preparation for the following match.

Dry needling is done in combination with remedial massage or physiotherapy, rather than on its own, making the treatment more effective.


Dry needling will:

  • Stimulate the nerve endings in the muscles, which can assist people with injuries or muscle tightness
  • Release endorphins into the body, which act as natural painkillers
  • Increase blood flow to muscles and release toxins
  • Regulate the nervous system


The benefits include:

  • Improved mobility, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Improved muscular strength and function
  • Reduced pain
  • Increased pressure pain threshold
  • Decreased inflammation and swelling
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased energy
  • Faster recovery time after sport or intense workouts


Acupuncture vs Dry Needling

You might think that both treatments are the same – they both have needles, reduce pain and have similar trigger points – but there’s a subtle difference. Acupuncture traditionally focuses more on energy flow for natural healing; however Western (modern) Acupuncture focuses on meridian points that target muscular tissue, joints and capsules. The Dry Needling technique focuses directly on the muscle tissue, trigger points as well as fascia based on therapist palpation. Often, therapists can utilise both techniques in one session.


Is it safe?

Needling treatments have been shown to have a high degree of safety and limited adverse reactions, and have been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “a safe and effective tool in managing pain and injury while supporting optimal wellness.”


Contact Physio Connex to talk about the benefits of dry needling to improve your performance.


Click here to add acupuncture / dry needling to a remedial massage or physiotherapy appointment on the Central Coast.