What Is Different Between Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) and Dry Needling (DN)?


  1. DN goes deep into the muscle belly, while TCA sits superficially and is guided by meridians.
  2. TCA is guided by practices of Eastern medicine, including the five elements, yin-yang balance, and qi (vitality).
  3. DN is based in modern Western medicine, particularly the fields of molecular biology, physiology, pathology, anatomy, and kinesiology.


What Is Integrative Dry Needling?

A neurologic approach

Integrative Dry Needling is a systematic approach that addresses local soft tissue dysfunction (tight, tender) areas, the peripheral nerve that supplies the muscle, and the segmental area where that peripheral nerves comes from. 

Goals: restoration of tissue and systemic homeostasis

  • Increase local PH (tight muscles become hypoxic, thus blocking microcirculation)
  • Decrease inflammatory markers to brain (bradykinin, substance P)
  • DN stimulates mechanoreceptors that stimulate the dorsal horn to release opiod-mediated pain supression
  • Changes in neural activity to the area to stimulate the muscle and nerve. 

Electric Nerve Stimulation (ENS)

ENS employs solid monofilament needles to deliver mild electrical stimulation to soft tissues. Further increases the efficacy of manual needling through rhythmic vibration for both local and systemic effects.

This consists of a rhythmic vibration for both local and systemic effects. 

  • -Decreases pain (analgesic effect) more powerfully than needling alone
  • Reduces tissue tension (including tension scar tissue)
  • Restores blood vasoregulation
  • Increases lymphatic circulation
  • Decreases inflammation

ENS delivers a mild elexrical stimulation to soft tissues via solid monofilament needles for the treatment of pain, tension, and neuromuscular re-education.

He Who Treats The Site Of Pain Is Lost

Trigger Point Dry Needling

The idea of inserting a needle into an area of musculoskeletal pain is certainly beneficial, but what about the rest of the the system? Addressing the nerve that supplies that muscle can have many other areas of entrapment or irritation upstream causing referral down stream. At Rider Chiropractic Sports and Injury, we treat the body as a system. We pride ourselves on a thorough evaluation and top-notch education.

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