Do you suffer from back pain, neck pain, or frequent headaches? Depending on the cause of your pain, there’s an alternative therapy that could bring you relief and it’s called dry needling. For people who have never heard of dry needling before, it can sound a bit scary. Many wonder if it’s the same thing as the traditional Chinese therapy called acupuncture. In today’s post from Flex Chiropractic, we’re going to discuss the differences between the two and why one may be a safer and more effective alternative to managing pain. Keep reading and then contact Flex Chiropractic if you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment. 

What is Acupuncture?

 Many people have heard of acupuncture, but you might not be familiar with how it works or the theory behind it. Acupuncture is deeply rooted in Chinese traditional medicine. It is believed that pain and illness are a result of an imbalance in the energy or qi (pronounced “chi”) within our body. In order to restore balance and promote health, an acupuncturist uses very thin needles and inserts them into strategic points that are intended to help rebalance the flow of energy.

Some people have found relief from various ailments including back pain, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis, and headaches, but there are some risks. First, science has yet to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture and there is little evidence as to why it may work for some. Second, many acupuncturists have little formal training and some complications have been reported from the use of nonsterile needles and improper delivery of treatments. 

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a safe, pain-relieving treatment performed by a trained, skilled therapist. Dry needling uses extremely thin, monofilament needles to penetrate the skin for the purpose of eliciting a twitch response and treating underlying muscular trigger points. Although it may sound scary or painful, there’s no reason to be afraid. The needles used are so small that it’s virtually impossible to feel them.

Although dry needling may sound similar to acupuncture, it is in fact very different. Acupuncture is rooted in Chinese Medicine and functions to “restore energy balance.” Dry needling, however, is rooted in Western Medicine and uses the understanding of the musculoskeletal system to treat patients by stimulating the myofascial trigger points that are causing the problem.

Dry Needling to Reduce Pain

If you suffer from chronic or acute pain as a result of injury, arthritis, or poor posture, dry needling may be able to help. It not only helps to relieve pain by stimulating the trigger points that cause pain, but it also helps to activate the immune system and increase blood flow.

Although many patients have found relief with dry needling, it can be more effective when used in conjunction with other treatments like chiropractic treatments, ultrasound, and massage. All of these treatments seek to heal the body from within instead of relying on potentially dangerous and risky alternatives like surgery and opioid medication. With regular treatments, dry needling can be a very effective and safe way to manage pain and improve range of motion. 

Contact Flex Chiropractic

At Flex Chiropractic, we take a holistic approach to wellness, which is why we offer several alternative therapies to help our patients find relief and restore their health. At the Flex Chiropractic office in Columbia, we offer dry needling as well as ultrasound, cold-laser therapy, massage, chiropractic adjustments, decompression, and more. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you live a life free from pain, contact our office today. We’ll schedule an appointment at a time that works for you so we can discuss your needs and concerns.