Dry needling, what's all the hype? I've had acupuncture before, is it the same thing? Dry needling is a tool and strategy used by physical therapists and other healthcare providers to relieve muscle aches and nerve irritation. Dry needling is the technique of inserting thin dry needles or acupuncture needles into muscle and other soft tissues in the body that are deemed irritable and contributing to pain or immobility. Why? The end result is typically decreased pain and improved functional activity. With the knowledge base and skill of your physical therapist it is quite simple to identify nerve and muscle regions that are causing problems. The dry needle is a very effective tool for loosening muscle tissue, de-stressing the nervous system, improving range of motion, improving circulation, and promoting healing. Remember the three things the nerves crave? Circulation, movement, and space. When the nerves don't have these they get irritable and cause pain and muscle spasm. Dry needling is extremely effective in returning space, movement, and circulation to your nerves so you can feel better and move better. So, is it the same as acupuncture? Ask your acupuncturist if they do it. Some do, some don't. Also, a trip to the acupuncturist will be different than a trip to the physical therapist, likely with different outcomes. We look at, diagnose, and treat things differently. The needle is just a tool. There are many different practitioners and healers out there. Find what works for you! Some useful information may be found at Dry Needling Directory