What Is The Difference Between Trigger Point Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 

Trigger Point Dry Needling is a Western Medicine technique, that was derived from cortisone injection needling or 'wet needling' of trigger points. Areas of referral were mapped by these treating physicians, Travell and Simon, and it was found that the action of needling the tissue caused was as a maximum twitch effect of the muscle, that resulted in a relaxation of the muscle belly.  Through futher research, it was found that trigger point dry needling was as effective as the physical injection of a cortisone. Hence Dry Needling was born.

 

 

 

The philosophy of Trigger Point Dry Needling is to take a specific muscle, make it run a mini marathon, by causing a maximum muscle twitch of the muscle, which fatigues the muscle, flushes out the acetylcholine from the neuromuscular junction and allows the muscle to return its resting length and regain normal contractile function. It is believed that the fatigue and lactic acid release, assist the muscle in restoring it's working function.

Perineural Trigger Point Dry Needling is an advanced level of trigger point dry needling, that involves 'floating the needle' near the nerve to generate better conduction, improve blood flow and increase the release of endogenous opiods. These endogenous opiods are similar to those found in pain medications, physicians prescribe to block pain, release muscle spasms and improve tissue healing but without a pharmaceutical. 

Acupuncture is an Eastern Medicine technique based on the philosophy that balances in the Chi and Energy of the body, through needle placement along the Energy Meridians, can help recalibrate these pathways, which become congested and out of sync from life interactions.

Both disciplines treat the presence of the trigger point in very different holistic ways.

Although the tool is similar, the use of a monofilament needle and electrical stimulation, the principles behind trigger point dry needling and acupuncture, are vastly different.