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Are They The Same Thing Or Are They Completely Different Treatments?

It’s common for people to confuse two completely different treatment techniques – dry needling and acupuncture. There are many misconceptions about these two techniques. Although they both use thin needles that are inserted into the body, they are quite different in what they treat and what they’re trying to achieve. We’ll go over some of the key differences between dry needling and acupuncture. It is important to note that both treatments should be performed by licensed professionals only. Desert Edge PT has years of experience performing dry needling on patients to help eliminate pain in specific regions of the body. 

Definition of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Asian medical treatment technique that has been very popular all over the world and has been used for thousands of years. This treatment can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms such as nausea, cramps, allergies, and chronic pain.

Definition Of Dry Needling

Dry needling, on the other hand, is quite young. It’s a modern-day treatment technique that is most commonly used as a way to manage muscular pain. Although the technique is not as well known, it’s beginning to become more popular all over the world. It is a very common treatment among athletes but can be used to help manage muscular pain for people of all activity levels. For instance, people who suffer from shoulder or neck pain, due to sitting at a job 5 days a week, can find relief through dry needling.  

Both Treatments In Practice

Dry needling can be practiced by a Physical Therapist who has completed the required training and holds a PT license. Although dry needling is safe, problems can arise if you’re dealing with someone who taught themselves or took a quick course. Always check the credentials when searching for a dry needling practitioner. Desert Edge Physical Therapy’s own physical therapists have more than 8 years of experience in this field, so we can guarantee that our dry needling practices are safe. Don’t risk running into someone incapable of performing dry needling, call Desert Edge Physical Therapy today!

On the other hand, acupuncture is accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In the US, to become an acupuncturist, you must have at least a master’s degree and complete accredited acupuncture or Chinese medicine program. It’s important to find an experienced acupuncturist, so make sure you do your research!

How Does Each Technique Work And What Does The Process Look Like?

Many of you are probably wondering what the whole process is about and what each technique does. Although both techniques use needles, there’s a difference in what each technique is designed to relieve.

Dry needling works as a brain stimulant by inserting dry needles through trigger points. When a therapist inserts the dry needle, the muscle briefly contracts and then slowly releases. The treatment usually doesn’t last that long and is repeated several times. It’s normal to experience some mild pain after treatment that will subside with time.

Acupuncture focuses on directing energy through the body with the needles. When a practitioner inserts the needle, it helps bring the proper energy flow back into the body. There are a few different forms of acupuncture treatments. Some aim to restore the energy flow in the body while others work to manage the pain through trigger points. As with dry needling, patients may experience some mild pain after an acupuncture treatment.

Benefits Of Each Technique

Although dry needling is still relatively new, there are many benefits of this modern-day technique. Dry needling stimulates muscles through trigger points with the needle. There is nothing injected into the body from the needles, which is why it’s called dry needling.  It’s most commonly used to treat muscle pain, injuries, and conditions like fibromyalgia, sciatica, and repetitive stress disorder.

Acupuncture is also a technique that uses needles to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. Practitioners of this ancient old technique like to say that acupuncture boosts the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture is frequently used to treat pain. Some of the most common diseases and conditions acupuncture can help with are nausea, vomiting, migraines, headaches, labor pain, back pain, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps and respiratory disorders.

Potential Risks Of These Techniques

Both acupuncture and dry needling share some of the same side effects such as bruising, bleeding, and soreness. One thing to keep in mind is that using inexperienced practitioners for these techniques may lead to more severe damage. Both techniques are deemed safe as long as the practitioner uses sterile needles. If the needles are not sterile, it could result in serious damage like bloodborne illnesses, infection, and other diseases. We want to repeat that both of these techniques are safe but the key is to use a trusted therapist. Always make sure you are working with an experienced, certified, and well-trained practitioner.

Dry Needling Vs. Acupuncture

Whatever issue you may be facing, we would recommend speaking to your general physician before opting for either of these treatment techniques. Both acupuncture and dry needling have major health benefits and although they’re still a bit obscure, they have proven methods of impacting the body in a positive way. If your problems include muscle pain, we would recommend going for dry needling. If your problems include migraines or other types of conditions such as back pain or osteoarthritis, our advice would be to choose acupuncture. 

Desert Edge Physical Therapy – The Trusted Partner In Making Your Life Easier

Whatever the case may be, if you want a trusted dry needling expert, choose Desert Edge Physical Therapy. With over 8 years of experience in dry needling, we have a long list of satisfied patients we’ve helped manage their chronic pain for a long time.

Choosing Desert Edge Physical Therapy is going to lead you into a healthier and easier life. When you step into our office, you’re stepping into a pain-free future. Over the last few years, Desert Edge Physical Therapy has positioned itself as the ultimate pain alleviator in Arizona.

Regain control of your body with a visit to our office. Our dedicated team is here to fine-tune the engine that your body is so you can go about your business without any worries or troubles. Call us at 623-334-8767 to start managing your pain today!

published on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021