What is dry needling and how does it differ to acupuncture?
Dry needling is a technique employed by many physical therapists and is similar to acupuncture in that a needle is inserted into the skin to alleviate pain.
The difference is that acupuncture is based on a theory of Chinese medicine that inserting needles into the skin may alter the flow of energy. The needles are only inserted at a cutaneous (skin) level
While dry needling follows evidence-based guidelines, recommended “point” locations, and dosages for the treatment of specific conditions. The needles are entered deeper into the affected muscles and relieve pain and muscle tightness.
Podiatrists use dry needling with the goals of addressing neuromuscular conditions, relieving pain, and/or improving range of motion. Evidence to date supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension and normalizes dysfunction of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient's return to active rehabilitation.
At step relief, we use dry needling to manage and treat common lower limb issues such as heel pain, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf pain and tightness.