Many people use the terms dry needling and acupuncture interchangeably. However, these are two distinct practices with different approaches to natural healing. Understanding those differences can help you decide which one is the best physical therapy option for you.
Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture
Both dry needling and acupuncture use needles inserted into the body to relieve pain and symptoms associated with several common conditions. Neither relies on surgery or pharmacological interventions for effectiveness. That is about where the similarities between them end.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that uses tiny, thin needles inserted in the skin along energy meridians. These are typically left in place for short periods, up to 30 minutes. This is believed to produce a generalized response that helps relieve symptoms of generalized pain or internal health conditions.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce symptoms of the following conditions:
- Nausea and digestive issues
- Chronic stress
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a fairly new technique based on principles of Western medicine. It uses thicker needles inserted directly into affected muscles to reduce pain and muscle dysfunction. The therapist manipulates these to break up muscle constrictions and associated trigger points.
Careful examination of where those trigger points are and how they are involved with the symptoms being treated is required before treatment. Therefore, dry needling should always be performed by an experienced practitioner.
Dry needling is helpful for conditions such as:
- Muscle tension
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic and acute pain
Benefits Of Each
If you are undergoing physical therapy for a torn or injured muscle, you may find the benefits offered by these treatments appealing. Among the most prominent benefits is the fact that there are very few risks associated with either treatment. Additionally, their ability to reduce or eliminate the need for pain medication makes them very attractive to many people.
Benefits of Dry Needling
In addition to their shared benefits, dry needling also offers a simple and relatively painless method for removing constriction within muscles, thereby reducing their symptoms. It is associated with increased circulation, reduced muscle tension, and less pain. Additionally, treatments take place right in your physical therapy New Jersey office, so it is incredibly convenient.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years. Numerous studies have shown it to be effective at treating various system disorders. It could be a useful tool to reduce pain associated with certain maladies, including headaches, neck and spine pain, and insomnia. It is also associated with reduced symptoms from menstrual cramps and digestive upset, including chemotherapy-related nausea.
Find Out Which Treatment Is Right for You
There are advantages to both treatment methods. However, they are typically used to address different types of conditions. A quick search for physical therapy near me should help point you in the direction of a knowledgeable PT in your area. Then, you can reach out to schedule an appointment to learn more about acupuncture, dry needling, and which one is right for you,