I will not sit here and compare and contrast dry needling with acupuncture. My specialty is Physical Therapy not Traditional Chinese Medicine or Acupuncture. I can easily tell you what I do on a daily basis. I help decrease acute and chronic pain, help restore mobility to hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, and spinal movements. I work with conditions like bulging discs, low back pain, sciatica, tendonitis, epicondylitis, TMJ, headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, muscle strains, neck pain, hip pain, and bursitis. I work to decrease the fear of pain and encourage improved postural and movement patterns. I am generally in the room with you trouble shooting your questions. I will never tell you only one strategy is the only strategy. I will encourage you to continue with whatever has helped in the past whether it be massage, acupuncture, rolfing, or chiropractic. There is a place for everything and everybody is different with what is effective. I will encourage use of all of the above techniques prior to you considering pain medications, cortisone injections, or surgery. More than likely I will encourage you not to go for expensive testing like MRIs unless I truly think your care needs more information. During your treatment session I will stick to bodywork, dry needling, other modalities, and strengthening to address your particular pain or dysfunction.
In contrast to acupuncture you will never hear me say you need herbs, B12 shots, moxibustion, or cosmetic injections. Perhaps you do need those things. I am not qualified to say. You will never hear me claim that I am treating your addictions, colds, infections, digestive disorders, infertility, PMS, menopause, morning sickness, reproductive issues, or digestive issues. Again, from my understanding, an acupuncturist may be able to help you with these. Beyond my scope. I am a physical therapist and my profession is physical therapy. I use dry needles to help jumpstart your recover from pain and injury. The technique has literally saved many of my clients from going down the dark, winding pain path, and has prevented use of cortisone injections. As a student of dry needling, I have taken over 100 supervised hours of dry needling continuing education. As a clinician, I have been using the technique regularly since 2012. As a PT, I have been licensed and practicing since 2000.
If you get a chance you can look at this article about dry needling:http://www.drjamesspencer.com/dry-needling-is-the-next-big-thing-in-physical-therapy/