Dr. Sullivan at NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture is often asked what the difference is between dry needling and acupuncture. While they may seem similar, both treatments are very different from each other. The only similarity between the two techniques is the equipment we use, which are the acupuncture needles.
Dry needling is used to release a trigger point or tightness in the muscles. If you have a trigger point or knotted muscle, Dr. Sullivan will insert the acupuncture needle into the area of tension, which can result in an instantaneous release. When the needle is inserted into the knot, it creates a muscle twitch, or contraction. This muscle twitch releases the trigger point, allowing the muscles to relax, restoring muscle function and decreasing pain.
The difference between the treatments is the area of focus. When treating a patient with acupuncture, an acupuncturist inserts the needles in the problem sites along with other areas that may be connected to it. However, dry needling targets solely the problem site. For example, if you have a trigger point in your shoulder muscles, an acupuncture needle will be placed into the trigger point, left for a few minutes, then taken out once the muscle relaxes. If you have shoulder pain, an acupuncturist may treat the acupuncture meridian or channel in the neck, shoulder, arm, and upper back area. Acupuncture is a complete healing system that can be used to treat everything like neck pain, back pain, allergies, headaches, anxiety, and infertility, to name a few. Whereas dry needling is a treatment used to treat muscular pain and tightness.
There are a variety of benefits that stem from dry needling. The treatment is highly effective for acute and chronic muscular pain. Patients who undergo this technique can experience a decrease in pain, increase in mobility, and increased strength. Typically, positive results are apparent in as little as one session or within two to four treatment sessions, but it can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms and overall health of the patient.
If you’re experiencing muscle tightness or have a trigger point, dry needling can be your solution. For more information and to see if the treatment can help you, call our office at 703-912-7822 to speak to one of our team members. If you are suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, headaches, allergies, or anxiety, give our a call to see if acupuncture may help with your issue.
Watch this video to learn more about Acupuncture