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Dry needling is an Orthopedic Acupuncture technique used to treat trigger point pain and myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points.

Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling, include Acupuncture, trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy.

I am the only physician in the Tampa, FL area who has extensive training in both Dry Needling and Acupuncture. This is why professional sports teams trust me so much with their players.

Here are some frequently asked questions you might have about dry needling:

Does dry needling hurt?

No! Some people might be a bit timid at the thought of giant needles but when it comes to dry needling we use tiny little pins that are the width of just 2 strands of your hair. Most people find it is really relaxing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the room and found a patient snoring during a relaxing nap.

Are the needles sterile?

Yes they come in a one time use sealed package and all needles are disposed of in a Sharps container which is picked up by a medical waste disposal company.

How often do I need to come for treatment?

It depends on your condition, if you’ve had a problem for a long time, expect to come once or twice a week for a few weeks until we can get things under control.

Do I have to come for the rest of my life to keep feeling good?

No, of course not… but a lot of people do because they realize that they just feel so good when they come for regular tune ups.

I’ve had surgery, can I still come for dry needling?

Yes! Dry Needling is used post operatively everyday across the world. It actually helps you to heal faster. Studies show acupuncture and dry needling can speed up healing by 5 times.

Is dry safe?

When dry is performed by a licensed acupuncturist it is among the safest treatment modalities available.

How long did you go to school?

I have a Doctorate in Acupuncture, so I had to do 4 years of undergraduate school and another 4 years in Acupuncture school. As an acupuncturist we are trained in both western medical sciences like anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology but also have extensive training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition.

Is dry needling good for pain?

Dry needling combined with Acupuncture is one of the best treatments available for all kinds of pain. Studies show it is more effective and safer than taking painkillers and the effects of acupuncture actually last.

Where are you going to put the needles?

It depends on your specific problem. They always go into muscles to stimulate your nervous system. I have extensive training in neuro-anatomy and neuro-acupuncture and am one of only a few doctors in the entire United States to specialize in this incredibly effective form of acupuncture.

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch, and touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.

What causes trigger points?

There are several things that can activate a trigger point and bring about trigger point pain and dysfunction.
Trauma to a muscle, such as an automobile o
r sports injury, an acute illness, emotionally charged events such as a death or tragedy, overworked or strained muscles, postural imbalances, repetitive work postures, overload, overuse or straining of muscles in the workplace.

Sickness, which might include excessive coughing can bring about a trigger point in surrounding muscles. Tension and stress in our lives can cause trigger points. Sometimes we can get a trigger point that will go away in time. Then certain stressors or activities perpetuate the trigger point, so that it repeatedly returns every time we repeat that same activity. If not taken care of and relieved, the trigger point pain can return time and time again.

What are common trigger point symptoms?

People who experience trigger point pain usually complain of localized, regional, aching pain in subcutaneous (under the skin) tissues, including muscles and joints. Sometimes symptoms will also include numbness or “pins and needles” sensation, loss of range of motion, referred pain to other areas of the body, weakness without muscle atrophy (getting smaller), and inflammation.

Muscles with trigger points will have a decline in strength, greater fatigue, and longer recovery times than muscles that are pain free, without trigger points. The involved muscle shows a fatigue pattern at the beginning of a repetitive task and accelerated fatigue-ability with delayed recovery. The trigger point is like a nest of hornets in a muscle that contains multiple sources of intense trouble and dysfunction.

Who gets trigger points?

Everyone! Read about what causes trigger points above and you’ll understand that any type of trauma can cause them. That includes sitting all day at work!

Can acupuncturists do dry needling?

Of course! Dry needling is just another term for Orthopedic Acupuncture.

I have extensive training in the location, palpation and treatment of trigger points and have advanced training in trigger point injection therapy (which is limited to just medical doctors and acupuncturist around the country).

I performed over 3000 treatments in 2018 and have both more training and also experience than any other practitioner in the region. I have also work directly with Major League Baseball teams and Major League Soccer teams to provide care to their players.


After multiple nerve blocks and never-ending pain, I had literally tried everything. My back pain was unbearable and it started messing up my day-to-day life. I went to Dr. Hanson from a freind’s referal and after about 4-5 sessions ... and a lot of trust (I was scared of the needles), he helped minimize my back pain. I’m working out, living a normal life, and so thrilled to say ... without any back pain!

Kat L.

I am going and its working! Thank you Dr. Josh! I can already feel the effects after 2 treatments. And to think the surgeons wanted me to have a fusion a year ago!!

Kim K.
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