Weighing out the options: Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

When looking at the two side by side they almost look similar. Both acupuncture and dry needling use thin stainless steel needles that are inserted into the skin. Both also claim to treat pain. Other than those similarities dry needling and acupuncture are very different. Knowing the difference between the two can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a modern treatment made to ease muscular pain. It is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles. During dry needling, several thin stainless steel needles are inserted into your skin. Because the needles do not inject any fluid into your body, the term “dry” needling was given. The needles are placed in “trigger points” within your muscle or tissue. These points are usually areas of knotted or hard muscle. The needles are sometimes gently manipulated and removed after a short period. The process may be repeated several times.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment based on traditional chinese medicine that’s been used for thousands of years. Acupuncture originated in Asian medical practices and sometimes uses the term “oriental medicine.” Needles are inserted into established meridian points on the body and are left in for some time. Acupuncture addresses the flow of energy around the body and vital organs and are intended to create balance within the bodily system.

What are the benefits?

  • Dry needling

Dry needling may provide relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. In addition, easing the trigger points may improve flexibility and increase range of motion. That’s why this method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia pain.

  • Acupuncture

The fundamental belief of acupuncture is that illness is the result of blocked or interrupted chi. Chi provides your body with healing energy. Acupuncture seeks to remove these blockages and return your energy flow to a state of balance.Acupuncture is used to treat hundreds of conditions and symptoms, including:

  • pain
    menstrual cramps

So which one should I choose?

The bottom line is if you’re weighing acupuncture or dry needling as a treatment option, the choice may come down to a matter of preference. Dr. Ashtiani is always willing to speak with you about the treatment if you are interested. Another option could be adding it on to your treatment whether that be graston or just an adjustment!