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Dry needling is an alternative treatment option for pain management. It is inspired by traditional Chinese medicine but has been adopted by many physical therapists, chiropractors, and other doctors of Western medicine. During dry needling, a practitioner inserts several filiform needles into your skin. Filiform needles are fine, short, stainless steel needles that don’t inject fluid into the body. That’s why the term “dry” is used.

Practitioners place the needles in “trigger points” in your muscle or tissue. Dry needling is also sometimes called intramuscular stimulation. The points are areas of knotted or hard muscle.

Dry needling practitioners say the needle helps release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms. The needles will remain in your skin for a short period of time. The length of time depends on the practitioner. Some healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists and massage therapists, r If you’re weighing acupuncture or dry needling as a treatment option, the choice may come down to a matter of preference.

Acupuncture currently has more definitive research and practitioners are regulated in training and practice. If you prefer a well-established alternative treatment option from a highly-trained therapist, acupuncture may be more beneficial for you.

Dry needling is rather new, so research remains limited. Existing research shows very few side effects and potential as a treatment for pain relief. Still, large-scale studies are lacking.

Additionally, there isn’t any consistency in training, certification, or licensure at this time. This can lead to unsafe needle practices.

However, if you’re willing to try something that’s less established with fewer governing principles but promising results, you may be willing to try dry needling.

Research supporting the use of dry needling is limited. Most of the existing research for dry needling supports the practice for relieving mild to moderate pain.

In some studies, dry needling provided more relief than a placebo treatment. However, one study showed that dry needling is no more effective than stretching alone to relieve muscle pain. In addition, a 2012 study found that platelet-rich plasma injections provided more relief for rotator cuff injuries than dry needling did

At Bluemoon Acupuncture and Wellness Center our doctors are trained to perform Dry needling as well, so we are offering the best of two. For more information Please contact us at 520-505-1442 or email us at

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