Both dry needling and acupuncture are forms of therapy that use fine needles inserted into the skin to alleviate pain. While the two treatments may be difficult to differentiate to those who are new to either practice, there are significant differences between them. Discover what sets the two therapies apart to determine which is best for your needs.

A Guide to Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

What Are Their Differences?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to relieve pain, symptoms of chronic illness, and other imbalances by opening up meridians throughout the body to support a healthy flow of energy. Dry needling, on the other hand, was introduced in recent decades to stimulate trigger points. It’s sometimes also referred to as intramuscular stimulation and is done to release tension in the muscles for reduced pain or spasms.

When Would You Need Either Treatment?

Dry needling is ideal for treating sports ailments such as rotator cuff injuries, joint restrictions, tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, and plantar fasciitis, among others. It has also been shown to reduce myofascial pain syndrome, or discomfort in the muscles commonly caused by overuse, and is believed to help improve flexibility.

dry needlingAcupuncture can also treat a broad range of conditions. People with headaches or migraines, allergies, persistent pain caused by chronic illnesses, nausea or vomiting, and menstrual cramps may benefit from having their energy flows redirected through acupuncture. It’s also sometimes used as a therapy for depression.

What Are Their Benefits?

Both acupuncture and dry needling are minimally invasive and drug-free therapies. They bear only minor side effects, such as temporary bleeding and bruising at the site of needle entry. Many individuals turn to them as pain-relieving alternatives to opioids, which bear the risk of habit formation along with other unfavorable side effects.


If you’re considering dry needling as a solution for treating an injury or chronic pain, turn to Enterprise Therapy Center in Coffee County, AL. With more than 45 years of combined experience, their physical therapists offer tailored programs to help each patient overcome injuries and accidents in a way that best fits their needs. Learn more about their treatment methods on their website or call (334) 393-7500 to schedule an appointment today.