Western acupuncture (aka medical acupuncture or dry needling) can be used to help most pain originating from the musculoskeletal system (including arthritis), as well as headaches and migraines.
Acupuncture involves inserting fine, sterile, single use needles into the patient. It was developed in China some 2000 years ago. Traditional Chinese acupuncture uses a complicated system of ancient ideas that are not easy to understand today. Medical acupuncturists use a scientific theory approach. Medical acupuncturists tend to use less needles and leave them in place for shorter periods of time than eastern acupuncturists; experience seems to show that the effect is similar, and less unwanted effects are felt.
Western acupuncture isn’t totally pain free but is generally much less painful than an injection or blood test. Most people find acupuncture very relaxing and may even produce feelings of happiness.
Western acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment to have. To put the risk level of injury from acupuncture in perspective, you are much more likely to have a negative effect from taking an ibuprofen than acupuncture.