If you’re considering dry needling vs acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis, I’ll clarify the difference between these two treatments. Dry needling vs acupuncture is one of the most contentious and confusing topics in physical medicine today. Not only are you confused as a patient, but providers from different professions are confused and arguing in the US court system whether there is a real difference between the two treatments.

I can say with confidence that both dry needling and acupuncture can provide some relief for knee osteoarthritis. It’s smart to rely on your practitioner to choose which treatment is best for your knee osteoarthritis, but let’s answer some of your questions and clear it up.

Dry Needling vs Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis – What’s the Difference?

Dry needling vs acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis are similar but have some significant differences. Let’s clear up some of your confusion on the topic.

Dry Needling for Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Dry needling is used after the provider makes a western medical diagnosis. The treatment strategy is based on this diagnosis.
  • The principal treatment goal of dry needling is to address myofascial pain syndrome or trigger points.
  • Dry needling typically involves more manipulation and movement of the needle during treatment.
  • Your provider may take the needles out or leave them in after needling a myofascial trigger point.
  • All or most of the needles will be placed near the area of your knee osteoarthritis.
  • Dry needling treatment for knee osteoarthritis usually involves deeper placement of the needles.

Are you considering dry needling for knee pain? See my content for a brief overview of this treatment –> Dry Needling for Knee Pain

Want even more details about what dry needling is like for knee pain? I cover this more in depth on this blog –> Dry Needling for Knee Pain Explained

Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Acupuncture treatment is based on different diagnostic criteria than most people are familiar with. Acupuncture involves addressing the flow of Qi or energy in different channels of the body to create balance.
  • Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis may involve placing needles in points that are not close to your area of pain.
  • Patients typically rest for a period of time with acupuncture needles in place.
  • Acupuncture needle placement is usually more shallow in comparison to dry needling.
  • Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis usually involves less needle manipulation compared to dry needling.

Do you have more questions about acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis? See my other blog content on this topic –> Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis

Similarities in Dry Needling vs Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Dry needling and acupuncture both use the same thin and solid/filiform needles that don’t have a hollow core. These needles are different than needles used for injections or blood draws, which are called hypodermic needles.
  • In many cases, both treatments are offered by the same provider. Our chiropractic center in Cary offers both dry needling and acupuncture.
  • The goals of treatment of dry needling and acupuncture are the same. Goals of treatment are to decrease pain and improve function.
  • Both dry needling and acupuncture are extremely safe procedures that are effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Dry Needling vs Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis – What’s Best for You?

I often times use elements from dry needling training and acupuncture training to treat your knee osteoarthritis. Having been trained in classical acupuncture as well as dry needling gives me a wider perspective when treating knee osteoarthritis. Make sure your provider does a thorough exam on your knee and trust the advice of your provider.

Your case of knee osteoarthritis is unique and requires a unique treatment. Supportive therapies like therapeutic ultrasound, soft tissue work, and a home exercise program is always a part of our treatment strategy at AccessHealth Chiropractic Center in Cary.

Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.

If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.