The benefits of dry needling and acupuncture…

Which is right for you?

Acupuncture and dry needling treatments both use thin, stainless steel needles. For both practices, needles are inserted into the skin to treat pain. But that is where the similarities end.

One practice has been used for thousands of years as an alternative treatment and has some solid research of effectiveness. The other’s been adopted in the last couple of decades.

One is designed to relieve pain, discomfort, or issues by opening up a person’s energy flow or chi. The other is designed to stimulate trigger points, or muscles that are irritable.

Knowing the differences can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you…

Dry needling

Dry needling (sometimes referred to as intramuscular stimulation) is a modern treatment designed to ease muscular pain and its popularity is growing. During a dry needling treatment, several filiform needles are inserted into your skin. Filiform needles are fine, short, stainless steel needles that don’t inject fluid into the body, hence the term ‘dry needling’.

These needles are placed in trigger points in your muscle or tissue. These points are areas of knotted or hard muscle. The needle helps release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms. The needles remain in your skin for a short period of time, before they are safely removed.

The benefits of dry needling…

Dry needling may provide relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. Additionally, patients report an easing of the trigger points which can improve flexibility and increase range of motion. This method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain and fibromyalgia pain.

You can find more information about dry needling on our website.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of medical treatment that dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. It originated in Asia and is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. The fundamental belief of acupuncture is that illness is the result of blocked or interrupted ‘chi’. In ancient Chinese belief, chi is a life force that provides your body with healing energy.  Acupuncture seeks to remove blockages in order to return your energy flow to a state of balance.

Acupuncture is used to treats hundreds of conditions and symptoms, including:

  • pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • menstrual cramps
  • allergies

Some people have even found success using acupuncture to treat addiction and chemical dependency!

In case you were wondering, the size of the needles used in both procedures are minuscule!

If you’re unsure whether acupuncture or dry needling is the right treatment option for you, the choice may come down to a matter of preference. To summarise:

Currently, acupuncture is better supported by medical research and practitioners are regulated in training and practice. If you prefer a well-established alternative treatment option from a highly-trained chiropractor, then acupuncture may be the most beneficial option for you.

Dry needling on the other hand, is rather new, so research remains limited. Existing research documents very few side effects and the treatment has the potential to relieve pain. If you’re willing to try something that’s less established but promising results, you might find dry needling a better treatment option for you.

If you’re unsure, please get in touch to book an appointment and Andy can go through your options and advise which treatment is likely to see the best results for your condition. To book, please give us a call on: 02921 159 435.