by Cassandra McCoy MAT, LAT, ATC, RYT


Dry needling is a unique recovery technique used by many osteo/rehab professionals around the world. If you have never heard of it, or aren’t familiar with the technique, let’s break down what dry needling is, what it does, and why YOU should try it out!

What is it?

Dry needling, also referred to as a myofascial needling, is a technique used to treat pain and soreness in the soft tissues of the body. Practitioners use a very thin “Dry” needle, no fluid or medications involved, to stimulate the body’s healing processes within the targeted tissue. Think of it kind of like a spotlight, shining on the issues in the tissues so the body can get to work.


Its well known older brother, acupuncture, is a bit different from dry needling in several ways. Dry needling is based more on western methods, myofascial tissue and Western scientific research versus acupuncture is based on an Eastern Traditional technique. Acupuncture can help with allergies, headaches, disorders and more, whereas dry needling focuses more on soft tissue pathology.

So why should you consider dry needling as a treatment option for recovering from injury or sport?

Let’s break down a few highlights:

It is a minimally invasive treatment

It is not a steroid, NSAID or other medication that can have side effects

It is a great addition to physical therapy techniques such as cupping, IASTM etc

It helps to speed up the process of getting off pain medications

Most see improvement in pain after first 2 treatments

Average appointments needed ranges from 4 to 6


Who can benefit from dry needling?

Someone suffering from:

  • Muscle tightness,
  • Pulled muscles, ankle sprains, chronic upper back/shoulder tension,
  • Muscle fatigue,
  • Muscle, tendon or ligament injury
  • Chronic pain

What should you expect to happen during a dry needling session? 


Once your practitioner determines dry needling would help you, the areas that he or she tends to dry needle will be prepped and cleaned. Remember, this might be at the site of injury or a point else that affects that is connected to the area!

Dry needling uses tiny needles, the same used in acupuncture treatments, that go deep into the tissues. Your provider might leave them in for a few moments or up to 15 minutes depending on the goal or style used.

                         After the tissue has released, or the practitioner is done with the needle, he or she will draw it out and place the used needle in a biohazard container to be safely discarded.

If you have any questions or comments, please seek out your local rehabilitation professional such as a licensed athletic trainer, physical therapist or osteo doctor. Also, contact Positively Balanced and Cassandra McCoy MAT, LAT, ATC, RYT if you are local to Skiatook, OK for this great therapy. Book sessions here or send questions to our email at



*This is not medical advice and purely for educational use, please see your provider to determine this is method is right for you.


About Cassandra:

Hi friend. I’m Cassandra. I’m an athletic trainer who is trained in soft tissue techniques for injury and prevention and treatment based in Tulsa and Skiatook, Oklahoma. I hold a Bachelors degree in Health Education and Exercise Science and a Masters degree in Athletic Training. I help people overcome injury and pain, so they can continue the workouts and fitness classes they enjoy. 


If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you are not your diagnosis, pain, or injury and there is always a way to get back to what you love. 


Some of the things that I can help you with include 


  • Safely pursuing fitness classes while addressing post-pregnancy related issues diastasis, prolapse, or incontinence.
  • Creating personalized post-rehab or injury prevention programs, so you can troubleshoot hip, knee, low back, or shoulder pain while continuing the activities that you enjoy.
  • Reducing joint pain and discomfort through specialized manual therapy techniques, including cupping, rock tape, and instrument assisted massage.
  • Assessing your form and offering feedback, so you can squat, lunge, and deadlift without pain.

When I’m not working with clients, I can be found playing with my son and husband outside, gardening, cooking, and teaching movement classes. To connect with me visit my website or say hello on Instagram @womenshealthathletictrainer.