Dry Needling and Acupuncture
Dry needling is orthopedic acupuncture.
If it is not done by a licensed acupuncturist who’s expertise is specifically that of using acupuncture needles with a minimum of 5000 hours of theory and clinical education, then it is being done by a provider with only a weekend course.
Dry needling/Orthopedic acupuncture is one of the many forms of therapeutic treatments that use acupuncture needles to treat pain. DN/Orthopedic acupuncture is focused on using strong stimulation on specific muscles to get them to release, while other acupuncture styles may not use strong stimulation and instead uses points along a systemic pathway called a meridian.
DN/Orthopedic acupuncture targets key muscle groups and how they influence a single area or movement while other styles of acupuncture focus on the entire system and how each physiological process is working within the system and uses specific points to influence change within the entire system.
A licensed acupuncturist will take the entire body into consideration in every style of acupuncture since any change in a body does not stand alone without affecting other parts of the body.
The primary aim of DN/Orthopedic acupuncture is to address neuromuscular conditions, while other styles of acupuncture is used to ease conditions, release stagnation or direct the body’s attention to an area for focused healing and building. While all styles can provide relief from pain, they each have unique qualities that make them very different and chosen based on the individual constitution of each patient.
Benefits of DN/Orthopedic acupuncture include improved flexibility and range of motion, while acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions, such as lower back pain, neck pain and stiffness, tension headaches, and osteoarthritis. Side effects of DN/Orthopedic acupuncture include bruising and temporary soreness.
Ultimately, it will depend on the patient's condition and preference to determine which treatment is right for them. DN is not for everyone. This can only be determined by a licensed acupuncturist who has the vast education and diagnostic experience to properly diagnose and administer the most appropriate treatment for an individual.