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Dry Needling vs. Cortisone Injections: Why Choose Acupuncture Over Traditional Pain Treatments

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Dry needling vs. cortisone injections for pain relief

In our relentless quest to achieve pain relief and enhanced mobility, we often come across a multitude of treatment options. Two such strategies that have garnered considerable attention lately are acupuncture - specifically dry needling - and cortisone injections. If you're stuck in the rut of chronic pain, it might be time to weigh the benefits of dry needling and acupuncture over traditional cortisone injections.

Dry Needling, an Acupuncture Technique

Acupuncture is an ancient practice with its roots in traditional East Asian medicine. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to balance energy flow and alleviate pain. Dry needling is a specific acupuncture technique, which targets myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles) to relieve pain and improve range of motion.

In contrast, cortisone injections, a standard treatment for pain relief, involve injecting corticosteroids directly into an inflamed area to reduce inflammation and pain.

So why should you consider dry needling instead? Let's delve into the reasons.

Minimized Side Effects and Risks

One significant advantage of dry needling over cortisone injections is the minimized risk of side effects. While cortisone injections can indeed provide immediate relief, they also carry potential risks, including nerve damage, infection, and thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis).

Acupuncture, Dry Needling, Acupuncture near me
Dry needling for long-term pain management

Dry needling, on the other hand, typically only causes minor side effects such as temporary soreness or bruising at the needle site. It's also generally safe for those who cannot tolerate corticosteroids due to underlying health conditions like diabetes or certain types of arthritis.

Improved Long-Term Pain Management

Corticosteroid injections may provide immediate pain relief but are not typically a long-term solution. The pain-relieving effects of cortisone are temporary, and overuse can lead to diminishing returns as the body becomes more resistant to its effects.

Conversely, dry needling can provide lasting relief from chronic pain. By targeting and releasing myofascial trigger points, dry needling promotes healing and restores function, which contributes to long-term pain management. Those looking for long term pain management have trusted Summit for years based on their ranking as the best Philadelphia Acupuncture clinic.

Enhances Body's Self-Healing Mechanism

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Enhance the body's self-healing with acupuncture

Unlike cortisone injections, which simply mask pain, dry needling encourages the body's self-healing mechanism. By targeting the source of the pain - the myofascial trigger points - it helps to improve blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and stimulate the body's endorphin release, our natural painkillers. This process allows the body to heal naturally and holistically, rather than merely suppressing symptoms. Summit Acupuncture in Philadelphia is determined to always offer the most natural and holistic treatments like dry needling to ensure the longest lasting results. Don’t question whether you are choosing the right clinic, just google ‘acupuncture philadelphia’ or ‘philadelphia acupuncturist’ and you’ll quickly see why Summit stands above the rest.

Dry Needling Supports a Holistic Approach

While cortisone injections focus only on the specific area of inflammation, dry needling is part of a more comprehensive, holistic treatment plan. It can be used alongside other therapies such as massage, physical therapy, and exercise to manage pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall health.

In conclusion, while both dry needling and cortisone injections can provide relief for those struggling with chronic pain, the benefits of dry needling, such as fewer side effects and improved long-term pain management, make it a viable and often preferable alternative. However, always consult with a healthcare professional before deciding on the best treatment for your specific needs.

If you're looking for a natural, comprehensive approach to pain management, acupuncture, and more specifically dry needling, may be worth considering. Summit boasts years of experience in both Acupuncture and dry needling and is here to serve the Philadelphia community! We would be honored if you considered our clinic for your dry needling and acupuncture in Philadelphia!

Holistic wellness approach at Summit Acupuncture



Acupuncture, Dry Needling, Acupuncture near me
Start by searching for "Best Acupuncture in Philly"

People in Center City, Northern Liberties, and Fishtown commonly searching for Acupuncturists in Philadelphia will google ‘phila acupuncture’ to find the best Acupuncturist in Philadelphia. Depending on whether they are looking for Acupuncture in Philadelphia or Dry Needling Philadelphia they may change their search parameters.

Folks all around town looking for Philadelphia Acupuncture clinics may search the term ‘acupuncture philadelphia’ to get a quick glimpse into which clinics are the highest rated in Philly.


A thorough Acupuncturist should put effort and attention into their site, as they do in their overall practice. You should get a sense of ease and connection that they are the best Philadelphia Acupuncturist for you.


Find the Google Business Page of an Acupuncturist in Philadelphia you are considering for care. It’s one thing for a clinic to claim they can help, it’s another to see patients leave their happy reviews providing proof!


After getting a general overview of what the clinic offers, call the office to see if they match the messaging that their site and Google My Business have portrayed. After a brief talk with the team, you will have a better idea of whether they are the right fit for your health goals.


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