Dry Needling: What Makes It Different From Acupuncture?

dry needling

Dry needling is a physical therapy technique using thin, “dry” needles to treat muscle tissue. Dry needling is commonly used as a part of a physical therapy program to reduce pain and restore muscular mobility and isn’t used as a standalone procedure. Your physical therapist will use dry needling to access specific trigger points in the muscle.

What’s the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

While dry needling resembles acupuncture, which is a traditional practice of Chinese medicine, their similarities start and end only with the use of thin needles. Acupuncture is designed to restore the flow of energy through the body and is commonly used for ailments such as digestive issues, stress, chronic pain, and insomnia. Dry needling is a modern treatment designed to elicit a response from your muscle’s trigger points to restore proper muscular function.

Why Choose Dry Needling as a Part of Your Physical Therapy?

Dry needling is a modern physical therapy procedure that can help to relieve pain and improve mobility without the use of potentially harmful medications. During your treatment, your physical therapist will use a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin. The needle will stimulate your myofascial trigger points in your connective tissue, which can be difficult or impossible to reach through traditional physical therapy methods.

When used as a part of a larger physical therapy program, dry needling can help to restore the proper function of tight or painful muscles. According to preliminary research, dry needling treatments can reduce muscle tension, mitigate muscle pain, and restore the proper function of the motor end plates. Motor end plates are the sites of your muscles where nerve impulses are transmitted, and they’re an important part of your muscular function.

Interested in learning more about how dry needling treatments can help you as a part of your physical therapy and rehabilitation program? Contact your local physical therapy center at B Physical Therapy Oviedo today.



Dr. Balogh DPT

Dr. Balogh DPT

Author: Dr. Steven Balogh is a doctor of physical therapy and owner of B Physical therapy. He has helped hundreds of patients regain their life by becoming pain free using the B Physical Way. Learn more about Steven and his mission. 

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