What is Dry Needling and what is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 




Dry Needling is a treatment technique where thin filiform needles are inserted through the skin into pathological areas of the muscle known as "trigger points" for the purpose of relieving myofascial pain and muscle spasm. These are the same needles used in traditional acupuncture therapy, they are solid rather than hollow, and no medication is injected.

Dry needling is used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise.

When performing dry needling, there may be a "twitch response" where the specific band of muscle involuntarily contracts in response to insertion of the needle.  Beneficial effects can occur without elicitation of the twitch response.  Sometimes electrotherapy is also applied with the trigger point needling technique, this is referred to as electroacupuncture. If electroacupuncture is considered appropriate, small clips are attached to specific needling locations and a mild electrical current is applied. Electrical muscle stimulation aids in stimulating blood flow, reducing pain and relieving muscular spasm. 

In the State of California, the only providers who can legally perform these types of needling techniques are licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors. A licensed acupuncturist's education and training in needling techniques requires a Master's degree obtained after 3 years of education and training. 

Compared to Dry Needling, Acupuncture, when applied as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, uses acupuncture points on the surface of the body that are located along "meridians" that correspond with the internal organs and the energies associated with those organs. Traditional acupuncture techniques aim to relieve congestion of energy and blood, thereby restoring circulation and reducing symptoms associated with said qi (energy) stagnation. 

Electroacupuncture and Trigger Point Needling for Pain Relief

Electroacupuncture is the the beautiful union of an ancient healing art and modern medicine. 

Electroacupuncture is the application of electrical impulses to acupuncture needles with the goal of enhancing the needles' therapeutic benefit. Electroacupuncture is often utilized to treat acute and chronic pain conditions. Acupuncture, dry needling and electroacupuncture modulate pain signals in the brain by stimulating endogenous opioids (endorphins), increase blood flow to the area of treatment, decrease muscular tension and encourages the body's natural healing mechanisms. 

Electroacupuncture, performed by a qualified provider is a safe and effective treatment option for conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee arthritis (and other injuries)
  • Tennis/Golfer's Elbow and More

To find out if acupuncture, dry needling and/or electroacupuncture can help you, call or make an appointment at our Newport Beach chiropractic and acupuncture office today! 


Copy of Webster Technique in Newport Beach

Dr. Pierce offers the Webster Technique in her Newport Beach office! Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique specifically developed for pregnant patients who want to enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy. This technique uses gentle hands on therapy to address imbalances in pelvic alignment and improve pelvic mobility to promote a more optimal delivery. The Webster Technique is aimed at treating not only pelvic (bone) alignment, but goes a step further to treat round ligament tension and pubic region pain. 

Dr. Pierce treats pregnant patients in her Newport Beach office using the Webster protocol as well as acupuncture therapy and simple gentle home exercises. To find out if you are a good candidate for treatment please contact the office! 

Copy of Can Chiropractic Help With Headaches?

Got Headaches?

Chiropractic adjustments, combined with physical therapy exercises, massage, acupuncture and postural improvement can make a world of difference for those suffering with headaches! 

If you or someone you care about suffers with headaches, chiropractic and/or acupuncture may be just the thing to help them reduce headache severity and frequency! 

To read more about how chiropractic may help with headaches CLICK HERE!

Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Lower back pain is a common side effect of pregnancy and affects some women as early as their first trimester. For some, their back pain presents before they even realize they are pregnant!

There are several reasons why your back may hurt while you are pregnant. 

  • Hormones: It goes probably goes without saying that hormonal changes take place during pregnancy! One particular hormone, relaxin, is a major contributor for women experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy. Relaxin, like it's namesake, relaxes or softens the ligaments in the pelvis in order to allow a woman's body to accommodate their growing uterus and prepare them for delivery.  The softening of the pelvic ligaments can lead to back pain because with that ligamentous laxity, there is a great deal of strain placed on the pelvic joints as they are stretched. Some women will feel pain in the lower back, in their pubic bone (front of the pelvis) or even have pain that radiates into their legs. 
  • Biomechanical changes (the way you move) and shifting of your center of gravity: As your pregnancy progresses and your body changes, your center of gravity will shift forward. With that, there is tremendous pressure on your lower back and pelvis. Additionally, the way you perform various tasks may become altered as a result of the way you feel or simply because you can't perform activities the way you usually would because your belly prevents you from doing so! (think tying your shoes or positions you can comfortably sleep in). The methods you adapt to perform daily tasks may put additional stress on your body, leading to pain. 
  • Weight gain: It is obviously normal to gain weight when you are pregnant, however that weight gain can have consequences on the way your body feels. Imagine carrying around a backpack weighed down with an additional 20 or 30 pounds or more. You can't leave the backpack in your car while you run errands or take it off while you sleep at night. The weight gain experienced during pregnancy comes on rather quickly and puts additional pressure on you joints and supporting musculature as well. 

So what can you do about it?

For most of the women who come to my office during pregnancy looking for help with their back pain, the approach is multidimensional. Your body is going to continuously change as your pregnancy progresses, so it's about not only helping you feel better now, but giving you the tools you need to control the severity of your back pain symptoms as your pregnancy progresses.

Chiropractic techniques like the Webster method are aimed at assessing and correcting mis-alignments of the pelvis and it's articulating partners; the spine and hips. The Webster technique involves spinal (sacral) and pelvic adjustments, as well as treatment of the involved soft tissues, namely the gluteal and hip muscles and the round ligaments that suspend your belly as it grows.  

In addition to spinal and pelvic adjustments (joint mobilizations/manipulation) and manual (hands on) soft tissue treatments performed in the office, simple (but important) exercises are recommended that you must perform to strengthen the muscles that stabilize your pelvis and help reduce painful stresses placed on those joints as your body changes to help reduce joint pain due to hypermobility (aka loose joints). 

Most of my pregnant patients experience relief very early on once treatment starts, which is wonderful! For most of my patients, treatments once or twice a week through the duration of their pregnancy help them experience significant reduction, and in some cases, complete elimination of their pain. Every patient's situation is different, so your needs would be based on the severity of your symptoms and response to care. 

Acupuncture and trigger point needling is another safe and effective option for pregnancy related pain I use in conjunction with chiropractic care and physical therapy exercises. 

To find out if the treatments offered at Advanced OC Wellness are right for you, contact us!