By: Jill Doyle PT, OCS, Cert DN
Have you heard of dry needling but not sure what it is, or wondering how it is different from acupuncture? Are you wondering if it can help alleviate some of your pain? Let us help clear up the mystery for you.
Dry needling is a form of intramuscular stimulation that does not inject any fluid in the body, hence the word “dry.” It utilizes fine needles inserted into painful muscles, tendons, ligaments or near nerves to help stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. The needles remain in the skin for a short period of time determined by your practitioner. Confusion between dry needling and acupuncture is common, but the line between them is clear.
Acupuncture is utilized in Oriental Medicine to alter the flow of energy along meridian systems for the treatment of diseases, whereas dry needling is a modern science based intervention that treats pain in the musculoskeletal system. Although both utilize the same type of needles and can be effective for pain control, the source of the pain determines which of the two therapies would best be utilized.
Dry needling is successfully utilized to treat painful orthopedic conditions such as knee pain, shoulder impingement, back pain, tennis elbow, headaches, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis to name a few. It is very safe with few side effects and can be very beneficial for treatment of painful conditions without the use of drugs and surgery.
It should only be performed by skilled and certified practitioners with trained experience. Let our certified, trained physical therapists help you determine if dry needling would be useful in the treatment of your painful condition. Book your appointment today!
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Dr. Jennifer McCauley, PT, DPT, OCS, is a co-owner at Inspire Physical Therapy and Wellness. She graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2008. She is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and has also completed advanced training in Graston technique, Kinesio taping, Pelvic Floor Therapy through Herman and Wallace and Movement Links. Jennifer is a gifted teacher and healer. Her approach to care incorporates manual therapy, pilates-based rehab, and DNS to help eliminate pain, restore function, and enhance athletic performance. She is able to treat a variety of orthopedic, sport, and pelvic health patients. Her extensive “toolbox of tricks” helps her patients to not only recover from injury, but to thrive, living life to its fullest.