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What is the difference between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture?

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Dry Needling Technique

What is the difference between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture?

by: Tod Miner, PT CCRP Arfit Dog Therapy Chicago

At Arfit, I perform Dry Needling on Cats and Dogs. One of the biggest questions I get is “What is the difference between dry needling vs acupuncture?” Dry Needling is an amazing new way to eliminate muscle and myofascial pain in animals without drugs or side effects. I use acupuncture needles for this procedure and as a result, people often confuse this treatment with acupuncture. They are actually very different therapies and used for very different conditions.

Background on Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

Acupuncture is rooted in Eastern Medicine and is thousands of years old. It is based on Meridian / Energy lines that run along the surface of the body. Acupuncture is used to relieve medical conditions related to organ function. There are multiple points for each organ in the body. Treatment is performed by inserting needles at various depths into these points where they remain in the body for 15 – 30 minutes.
Dry Needling is a relatively new technique that was discovered to be effective very recently in Physical Therapy. When looking at dry needling vs acupuncture, treatment differs greatly in that dry needling targets muscle spasms and myofascial trigger points. The needles are inserted directly into the tender spots which are palpated by a trained clinician. Inserting the needle deep into the muscle triggers an immediate release. The result is pain relief and improved range of motion of the muscle.

Is Dry Needling Painful ?

In human physical therapy, dry needling is performed with a technique called “pistoning” a rapid stabbing motion. I do not use this techniques on animals. I have modified my technique to be very gentle resulting in minimal to no discomfort for your pet. I also have a variety of needle sizes depending on the size of your pet. The results are very good.

How long Does it take to work?

Dry Needling produces immediate relaxation of the muscle tissue treated. Improved movement and function can take up to 24 hours.

What are the benefits of Dry Needling for my Pet?

Improved movement, increased energy and playfulness are common results of this treatment.

Can Dry Needling Cure my Pet’s problem?

Dry needling releases tight and inflamed muscle tissue. It is used as a part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program specifically designed for your pet at Arfit. Although the results can be dramatic, It is not a panacea.

*To schedule an appointment to see if your pet would benefit from dry needling, call Tod at 312-620-4606.


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