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Is Dry needling and Acupuncture is same?

If you only compared dry needling and acupuncture with a photo, you might be stumped to identify each. Both acupuncture and dry needling use thin, stainless steel needles. For both practices, needles are inserted into the skin and both also claim to treat pain.

 

That’s where the similarities end. Unique qualities help differentiate the two. One practice has been used for thousands of years as an alternative treatment and has some solid research of effectiveness. The other’s been adopted in the last couple of decades.

 

One is designed to relieve pain, discomfort, or issues by opening up a person’s energy flow or chi. The other is designed to stimulate trigger points or muscles that are irritable. Knowing the differences can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you.

WHAT'S DRY NEEDLING?

During dry needling, a practitioner inserts several filiform needles into your skin. Filiform needles are fine, short, stainless steel needles that don’t inject fluid into the body. That’s why the term “dry” is used. Practitioners place the needles in “trigger points” in your muscle or tissue. Dry needling is also sometimes called intramuscular stimulation. The points are areas of knotted or hard muscle.

Dry needling practitioners say the needle helps release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms. The needles will remain in your skin for a short period of time. The length of time depends on the practitioner.

USEFUL IN / INDICATIONS:

  • Joint problems
  • Disk problems
  • Tendinitis
  • Migraine and tension-type headaches
  • Jaw and mouth problems (such as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD)
  • Whiplash
  • Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Spinal problems
  • Pelvic pain
  • Night cramps
  • Phantom pain
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia (pain left behind by shingles)