October 21, 2021 Physical Therapy of Milwaukee

Electro-Dry Needling

Physical therapists perform electro-dry needling, a skilled technique using filiform needles to penetrate the skin and/or underlying tissues. This technique aims to affect changes in body structures and functions to address neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, movement impairments, and disability.

These needles do NOT contain any medication or injection, hence the term “dry.” These needles penetrate sub-dermal structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, scar tissue, peripheral nerves, and neurovascular structures to elicit local and systemic responses, thereby helping to reduce pain and improve movement patterns.


What is dry needling with electrical stimulation? What are the benefits?


Moreover, we may add electrical stimulation (e-stim) to the needles. The electrical current is transferred through the needles to help decrease pain, increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and more! The combination of the dry needling with the e-stim can prolong the pain relief effect by blocking nerve pathways and prevent the pain signals from traveling to the brain. The increase in blood circulation promotes the delivery of nutrients to the tissues to help accelerate the healing process.


The e-stim unit that connects the cables to the dry needles can be adjusted by your Physical Therapist to change the frequency, intensity and mode of stimulation depending on the reason of the treatment.


High Frequency/Low Intensity: This will produce a fast acting, more short term pain relief by preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain and blocking nerve pathways.


Low Frequency/High Intensity: This will produce a more long term pain relief that will increase for several hours after treatment.


What does dry needling with E-Stim feel like?


Above all, the feeling will be dependent on the frequency and the desired result of the treatment. The feeling can range from a slight buzzing to a more rhythmic twitching sensation that can activate the targeted muscles. Our physical therapist will make sure that this treatment is not painful and we can adjust the intensity accordingly. 


Electro-dry needling conditions it can treat


  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Trigger points, bone fractures, spasms, strains
  • Nerve Damage: Post-operative pain, radiculopathy, neuropathy 
  • Joint Pathologies and Tendinopathies: Joint restrictions, muscle sprains, arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Medial/Lateral Epicondylitis 
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Bell’s Palsy

How can I schedule an appointment?


Please leave your information below, and we will contact you to assist with scheduling. You can also call or text our clinic at 414-281-3444 to request an appointment and ask any questions you may have about dry needling treatments.