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Category Archives for Joint Therapy

Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture for Myofacial Trigger Point Pain Therapy

Dry Needling Myofacial Trigger Points Pain Therapy:

Dry Needling is a treatment used in physical therapy that involves using needles, often the same needles used by acupuncturists, to target specific points in the body that are associated with acute and chronic pain.

Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, with a focus on restoring the distribution of “Qi” (the vital life force) in the body. Acupuncturists place needles along meridians in the body that are believed to influence chronic pain and disease. Dry Needling is based on Western science and knowledge of anatomy, with a focus on releasing palpable myofascial trigger points in the body.

Physical therapists who practice dry needling place needles in trigger points that often times reproduce the patient’s pain when pressure is applied to them. Dry Needling is systematic and requires certification to be performed by your physical therapist. Needle insertion increases blood flow locally in the tissue, creating a natural healing process to restore function.

Benefits of Dry Needling include but are not limited to:

  • Trigger points causes relaxation through disruption of the motor endplate.
  • Assists in pain control by blocking the neural pain pathways, per the Gate Control Theory.
  • Causes a local chemically mediated response through the release of proteins and neurotransmitters, which block the transmission of pain messages.

The importance of seeking a physical therapist to perform dry needling:

  • Releasing a trigger point is just one step on the pathway to recovery from pain.
  • After dry needling, they will instruct you in therapeutic exercise
  • Perform additional manual therapy techniques to restore functional movement and prevent the pain from coming back.
  • By choosing physical therapy to treat your pain and dysfunction, you will receive a multi-faceted approach that is paramount for long-term recovery.

Let us help you reduce and eliminate pain with our physical therapy programs, dry needling, and programs for long term health care success