The DN Project - Keep dry needling within the scope of physical therapist practice
Dry Needling or Triggerpoint Dry Needling (TDN) is an intramuscular soft tissue technique utilized by physical therapists, chiropractors and physicians within the constructs of a neuromusculoskeletal evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan. Combining the educational backgrounds and specialized training for DN, this technique is safe and effective for many neuromusculoskeletal diagnoses.
Recent efforts by groups and individuals within the acupuncture community accuse DN professionals to be illegally practicing acupuncture or that the procedure is unsafe to the public. These allegations are not only false, but a disservice to a significant population of patients who have benefitted from DN. They claim to be concerned for the safety of the public or that dry needling is acupuncture. Research and empirical data finds that the risk of adverse events from dry needling are <.04%, which is significantly less than the risk of chronic NSAID use or spinal manipulation. Both of which are deemed safe for the public.
It is also untrue that acupuncture and dry needling performed by PTs are the same. Acupuncture is an Eastern or Oriental medicine technique with evaluation, technique execution, intended response and practitioner education all very different from TDN. Triggerpoint Dry Needling is a treatment modality utilized within the context of a neuromusculoskeletal evaluation and treatment plan by qualified and licensed PTs, chiropractors and physicians. Advanced training is required for TDN, but the educational background of physical therapists allows this intramuscular technique to be performed safely and effectively.
In October 2014, a county court ruling in the State of Washington ruled that Kinetacore (a Colorado-based dry needling education organization) and Salmon Bay Physical Therapy could no longer teach or perform the service of dry-needling as a part of physical therapy care in the State of Washington. If you are a clinician who utilizes DN or an individual who has benefitted from this technique, please help us keep dry needling within the scope of physical therapy practice.
UPDATE - As of June 2016, PTWA has requested a Department of Health Sunrise Review to determine whether dry needling is within the scope of PT practice. This petition will be filed as part of written testimony in SUPPORT of dry needling by physical therapists in WA, but please feel free to submit written testimony directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By signing this petition, I am stating that I am a member of the public who feels strongly that dry needling should be within the scope of physical therapist practice based on safety and efficacy.