south dokata dry needling

Dry Needling: Can it help you?

At Prairie Rehabilitation, many of our physical therapists are utilizing a new specialty therapy that can soothe muscle pain, ease migraines, speed recovery and more – Dry Needling.

What exactly is it? Does it hurt? How does it work? Who can it help? Michelle Schuman, PT helps answer these questions.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a specific treatment technique that uses a solid filament needle to treat muscle trigger points that are creating pain. This technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. To learn more details about dry needling, please click here.

Does Dry Needling hurt?

First, therapists start by consulting with the patient on treatment preferences.

“There may be some discomfort when the needles are placed, but it is often brief. Patient’s often have some soreness in the hours following, but as this subsides relief from pain is often experienced,” said Michelle.

Some patients may not even feel the needles going in, and others experience immediate relaxation or relief, as the technique releases muscle tension.

How does Dry Needling work?

Patients are evaluated by a physical therapist that is trained in dry needling to see if it would be an appropriate treatment for them. If so, the therapist inserts needles into the tissue or trigger point to stimulate the tissue. This triggers responses from the body including increased blood flow and oxygen to the muscle tissues, the release of tension in muscle fibers, increased flexibility of the tissue, and stimulation of natural pain relievers in the body.

south dokata dry needling
Dry needling being performed on a patient’s hamstring.

Who can Dry Needling help?

 “Dry needling is an extremely effective treatment for patients who have acute and chronic pain, joint dysfunction and/or decreased flexibility,” said Michelle.

Common conditions dry needling is used for include:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Muscular low back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Sciatica
  • Hamstring strains
  • Calf tightness/spasms
  • Scar tissue
south dokata dry needling
Dry needling being performed on a patient’s quadricep.

To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call our main office at 605-334-5630. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  A list of our outpatient clinic locations can be found here.

Prairie Rehabilitation 

Michelle Schuman, PT at Prairie Rehabilitation


About Prairie Rehabilitation

Prairie Rehabilitation

At Prairie Rehabilitation our Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Speech Therapy experts are passionate about helping our patients reclaim their way of life and function. It’s about you; you are unique with distinct qualities, abilities, and needs. At Prairie Rehabilitation we embrace the philosophy of “Patient First” care; treating each individual with precise and personalized care. To achieve the best results and to speed your recovery, we are committed to utilizing the most clinically proven and current concepts in rehabilitation.

About the Private Practice Section of the APTA

 Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit