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Dry needling

A safe, lower-cost pain management alternative.

Security Health Plan believes it’s important to offer alternative ways to manage pain. Trigger point dry needling is a safe and cost-effective treatment for members looking for an alternative to pain medications or other more invasive pain management services, with the goal of helping members achieve their best health. Alternative treatments like dry needling can also reduce reliance on expensive and dangerous prescription counterparts, like opioids.

How does dry needling work?

Trigger points are highly irritable, painful, tight spots in muscles, often referred to as knots. Dry needling is a treatment technique wherein a thin, flexible needle is inserted into the skin at the trigger point to create a local twitch response. This twitch will cause chemical changes in the muscle and has been shown to immediately increase blood flow inside the trigger point.

Dry needling vs. acupuncture.

This technique is considered “dry” because there is no medication used with the needle. Dry needling and acupuncture have similarities and differences. Dry needling is a technique to treat the muscular system based on pain patterns, palpation and symptom presentation. Acupuncture is a treatment based on Eastern medical diagnosis which requires training in traditional Chinese medicine.

Is dry needling covered for my employees?

Effective January 1, 2021, members enrolled in a fully insured Security Health Plan employer plan will have coverage for dry needling.

Dry needling will be covered subject to the plan’s cost sharing, with a maximum of 20 services per plan year.

No prior authorization is needed for dry needling. Security Health Plan will count the number of dry needling services received during the plan year.

Reducing health care costs for everyone.

Dry needling can also reduce health care costs for everyone. In a 2018 study, patients with low back pain who received physical therapy as their first point of care were 89% less likely to get an opioid prescription. They were also less likely to receive diagnostic imaging and utilize the emergency department. All of these factors can contribute to lower health care costs.

Security Health Plan is here to help your business. For assistance in determining the health plan that is right for you, check out the tools and resources available at or contact Security Health Plan at 1-800-622-7790.