You’ve been having some issues with muscle pain and friends have recommended acupuncture. You saw a doctor who recommended physical therapy and dry needling. Now you’re really confused because they’re the same thing, right? Well the short answer is no.
In order to understand the difference between the two, it’s important to understand what dry needling is…
Dry Needling is a skilled intervention used by physical therapists to treat the dysfunction of trigger points, or irritable nodules and taut bands in muscles that present as painful spots when palpated. These painful spots can even refer pain to other areas, creating what is called a referral pattern. A microfilament needle (one much smaller than an injection needle) is placed into the trigger point to release the tension and to allow the body to start the healing process.
The philosophy is that dry needling can increase blood flow, decrease muscle banding, decrease abnormal neurological energy, and decrease pain.
So how is it different than acupuncture?
While the needles are similar, the evaluation methods are very different. Physical therapists use a different examination process by assessing the joints and neuromuscular systems in order to determine where the dysfunction is occurring and where the needle placement would be most useful to the patient. Acupuncturists, on the other hand, examine the body and place needles along meridians (or channels) of the body depending on where energy flow (or Chi) needs to be restored.
Am I a good candidate for dry needling?
Dry needling can help a wide variety of diagnoses, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, knee pain, and even those who have had surgery. It’s a great intervention for those who are having pain from muscles because by treating (or relaxing) the muscles through dry needling, we can strengthen more efficiently and effectively. Patients of all ages have experienced this technique and have had great results…so find out today if you’re a good candidate too!
Now that you understand the difference, follow your doctor’s orders and go see a physical therapist at one of our offices.
Our trigger point dry needling will help heal the issue causing the pain and get you back to 100%.