Dry needling and Acupuncture…what is the difference?

Dry needling and Acupuncture…what is the difference?

Dry Needling is a technique used by physiotherapists primarily to relieve pain and muscle spasm. It is similar to acupuncture in that a needle is inserted into the skin to alleviate pain. However the primary difference between acupuncture and dry needling is that acupuncture treats for the purpose of altering the flow of Qi (or energy) along traditional Chinese meridians while dry needling follows evidence-based guidelines, recommended “point” locations, and dosages for the treatment of specific conditions.

Physical therapists use dry needling with the goals of addressing neuromuscular conditions (eg nerve pain, muscle spasm), relieving pain, and/or improving range of motion. Evidence to date supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient’s return to normal activity.

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