Dry Needling During Pregnancy

We often get questions about dry needling during pregnancy. There are several things that need to be taken into account when considering dry needling during pregnancy.

Firstly, it is contra-indicated to dry needling someone during their first trimester. This is a period in which there is the highest incidence of pregnancy complications, which you do not want linked to your treatment.

In addition, there is no quality research undertaken to show it is safe during the first trimester.
There is some evidence that dry needling during the second trimester can be performed safely. We would typically only perform this technique if someone has had a good response to dry needling in the past and can be clinically justified.

In other words, it is not recommended to introduce dry needling for the first time during pregnancy.

In addition, there are certain regions that are avoided during pregnancy. Some of them due to the argument that based on a Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Model, some of these points are thought to induce uterine contractions.

Avoid the following points in general during pregnancy:

  1. Abdomen
  2. Lumbar spine, sacrum and coccyx
  3. Hand esp the first web space
  4. Foot – there is a region 3cm proximal to the medial malleolus that is contra-indicated
  5. Peroneals

Having said that, if performed in the correct manner taking into the account the above-mentioned points, dry needling can be performed safely and effectively during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Written by

Brandon Kam Advanced Presenter


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