Acupuncture and dry needling are two of the same practices, both using thin stainless steel needles to insert them into the skin. Both also claim to treat pain – however, you may not be able to distinguish between them just by looking at a photo.
Despite similarities, there are a significant number of differences between the two. One technique has been used for thousands of years as a form of alternative treatment and is supported by solid research, while the other has been adopted in recent decades.
One is designed to open up a person’s energy flow or chi, while the other is there to stimulate trigger points- those that are irritated.
Knowing the differences in these treatments can help you decide which one is best for your needs.
Have you heard of Dry needling? It’s a modern treatment designed to ease muscular pain. Its popularity has increased significantly in recent years, with practitioners inserting several filiform needles into your skin using stainless steel needles that do not inject fluid into the body. The term “dry needle” refers to the fact that this procedure does not involve the injection of fluids; instead, it relies on the stimulation of areas with hard or knotted muscle tissue called trigger points, which are then released from their tension and calmed down by low-voltage electric pulses administered through the needle tips.
Dry needling practitioners say that needles help release the knot or relieve any muscle pain. Depending on the practitioner, the needles will remain in your skin for a few seconds to minutes. Some healthcare professionals- like physical therapists and massage therapists- receive some training in dry needling.
Trigger Point Dry Needling
One technique used in dry needling is called pistoning or sparrow pecking. In these techniques, the needles are inserted and then removed quickly. More research needs to be done on this method of needle insertion before conclusions can be drawn about its effectiveness.
Non-trigger Point Dry Needling
In some dry needling techniques, the practitioner does not just insert needles in the area of pain. That way, you’re less likely to experience pain again even if that specific spot was resolved. This is called non-trigger point treatment, and it helps treat a larger part of your central nervous system.
This technique relies on the idea that pain is caused by a greater nerve or muscular issue rather than just focusing on one spot; therefore, this tactic may help patients avoid experiencing any more discomfort once they recover from their main problem.
Such treatments are excellent for treating chronic pains since they focus on multiple points around an injured site instead of directly applying needles to them only.
Who Does Dry Needling?
Physical and sports injury therapists often use dry needling procedures. The problem is practitioners don’t necessarily have any extensive training in the procedure. Currently, there are no regulatory agencies that oversee the process of training or licensure for this particular method- only one to supervise it within a clinic setting!
Dry needling is not as extensively regulated yet. Currently, dry needling practitioners don’t have to meet any licensing requirements or undergo much training beforehand. No regulatory agency oversees their credentials, and there’s no way of knowing if the training they’ve had is legitimate and satisfactory- this means that you’ll be choosing a therapist at your own risk! If you decide to go with this treatment route, try looking into someone who has postgraduate education in healthcare, like a physical therapist.
What are the benefits of doing dry needling?
Dry needling may help relieve pain and stiffness in some muscles. Easing the trigger points that cause these sensations might improve flexibility and mobility, which is why this method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia symptoms.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical treatment that has been used for hundreds of years. It originated in Asian practices and is why many boards use the term “Oriental Medicine” to classify acupuncture.
Tens of thousands of licensed acupuncturists use needles to practice acupuncture. To be an expert in the profession, one must train for three or four years. This training includes instructions on how to diagnose conditions and use needles. Practitioners have supervision from another senior and expert practitioner during their sessions with a client.
In addition to the training, acupuncturists must take a national examination and maintain their license by taking instructional courses each year. The American Medical Association accepts acupuncture as a medical treatment for some situations, and insurance companies may cover it.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Chi provides your body with healing energy. The central belief in acupuncture is that illness comes from blocked or interrupted chi. Acupuncture seeks to remove these blockages and return your energy flow to a state of balance.
Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions. The most common types of pain are headaches, nausea, vomiting, and menstrual cramps. Other symptoms may be allergies or stomach problems.
Which One is Best?
Acupuncture is a more traditional pain relief therapy that has been around for thousands of years. On the other hand, Dry needling stems from Western techniques and hasn’t been around as long. Acupuncture aims to open up your energy flow so you can heal yourself; dry needling aims to stimulate nerves to produce temporary pain relief.
You’re likely already aware that some treatments are used by both therapies and may be able to output one or the other if needed – but which treatment is right for you? It all depends on what your doctor diagnoses as being wrong with you! Your physician must know exactly where and what this specific type of pain problem is before they recommend any particular course of action
For those who are contemplating acupuncture vs. dry needling, the choice may come down to a matter of personal preference.
Dry Needling Treatment in Asheville
1on1 Physical Therapy is proud to offer safe and effective treatment methods for back pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, muscle strains, and more. Please get in touch with us at 828-785-8388 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation or want answers to any questions about dry needling versus acupuncture.