Dry needling (DN) and acupuncture are commonly confused among the public. Both techniques are similarly invasive therapy which insert thin, stainless steel filament needles into the skin to reduce acute and chronic pain.

Differences between Dry Needling and Acupuncture:

  1. Theory behind

Dry needling – mechanical stimulation of these myofascial trigger points causes local twitch response (LTR) which induces analgesic effect

Acupuncture – restore proper flow of energy or chi throughout the body

  1. Insertion location

Dry needling – inserts into trigger points, or taut bands within the muscles

Acupuncture – inserts into points along the meridian line

  1. Purpose

Dry needling – release trigger point and restore normal muscular functions

Acupuncture – treat internal ailments, such as digestive issues, insomnia, stress etc


Common side effects associated with Dry Needling:

  • Soreness at the treated area
  • Bleeding at the treated area
  • Fatigue
  • Skin bruising

Most of the physiotherapists in Your Physio are certified dry needling practitioners. So, don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to find out more!

Article by Yong Hok Nian

Physiotherapist from Your Physio

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