Acupuncture and dry needling are two distinct treatments that involve piercing the skin with fine needles for therapeutic purposes. While the common goal is to relieve pain, the practices are otherwise very different. Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that is based on traditional Chinese medicine, while dry needling is based on human anatomy and neurophysiological principles. The fundamental difference between these techniques is that dry needling focuses on specific muscles or tendons to provide a very localized response.
It is also a deeper treatment, reaching the muscle, and the needles remain inserted for a shorter period of time than in acupuncture. DINS techniques also use shallower penetrations. Puncture without trigger points can be used to broadly treat the central nervous system and not the main area of pain. Dry needling is sometimes called trigger point therapy, as some forms of this technique focus on myofascial trigger points (the hard lumps known as knots).
While researchers have studied acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for many conditions, dry needling is a newer practice and the tests are less comprehensive. Often used as part of a larger treatment plan, many patients who have doubts about dry needling misunderstand it and compare the procedure to acupuncture. Due to the lack of rules and guidelines, a person can practice dry needling with minimal training and without a license. We have helped patients suffering from back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, knee pain, muscle spasms, muscle strains and other painful conditions, and we would be happy to meet with you to discuss how dry needling can help you regain the freedom of a pain-free life.