Which Is Better for You: Dry Needling or Acupuncture?
If you have muscle tightness, pain, or you’re recovering from an injury, you may have considered acupuncture or dry needling. But which one is best? Acupuncture is an ancient treatment method, while dry needling has only become popular in the last century. Here’s all you need to know about acupuncture vs dry needling.
The difference between dry needling and acupuncture
Dry needling and acupuncture often get confused, so it’s a natural question to ask. The two practices are quite similar, however, there are some significant differences. Firstly, acupuncture is a more traditional technique that’s focused on the flow of energy throughout the whole body. As such, it requires a strong knowledge of anatomy and an understanding of where to place the needles for the greatest effect.
Dry needling, on the other hand, focuses more on specific problem areas. It’s also known as intramuscular stimulation or myofascial trigger point therapy. Myofascial trigger points are essentially muscle knots that cause pain or restricted movement. In dry needling, needles are inserted into these muscle knots to relieve tension.
How does dry needling work?
Dry needling uses filiform needles or hollow-core hypodermic needles. These thin needles are inserted into muscle knots, which causes the muscle to twitch and therefore release tension. It’s a great way to address pain sites anywhere on the body.
You might be wondering what happens when dry needling hits a nerve. Well, it can be a little painful, but it causes the patient to twitch involuntarily. Experienced practitioners are skilled at inserting needles into the correct area, so you don’t have to worry too much about this.
The other goal of dry needling is to increase blood flow to the affected area, which promotes faster healing.
What conditions can be treated with dry needling?
There are numerous issues that can benefit from dry needling. It’s a very targeted technique, so it’s great for specific muscle injuries or tightness, and it’s mostly used for pain relief. One of the major conditions is muscle knots, or myofascial trigger points. Dry needling can help to release those knots and therefore reduce pain.
In addition, if you have issues with your range of motion, dry needling can help. Because the technique helps to relieve muscle tension, it can free those muscles up for more freedom of movement.
You may also be experiencing referred pain, and a physiotherapist may suggest dry needling. Referred pain occurs when you feel pain in a particular part of your body, but it’s actually being caused elsewhere. Back and neck issues often cause referred pain. In this instance, dry needling is used to treat the source of the pain.
Looking for dry needling on the Gold Coast?
Burleigh Central Physio specialises in dry needling to treat a range of conditions. If you’re experiencing pain, recovering from an injury or feel restricted in your movement, dry needling can certainly help. Whatever your stage of life, physical condition or specific issues, the team at Burleigh Central Physiotherapy is here to help. Contact us today and start your road to pain relief.