dry-needlingDry needling is a type of skilled technique that is performed by utilizing filiform-based needles to engage in the act of penetrating the skin and/or the tissues that lie beneath the surface of the skin for the purpose and intent of changing the body structure and its functions for those that suffer from pain, impairments associated with movements, neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and various types of physical-based disabilities. Recently, a study was performed in order to establish which competencies are required to perform dry needling in a competent fashion. In this guide, you will learn about these competencies.

General Requirements
The study performed concluded that there are five general-based activities that must be performed in order to perform physical therapy dry needling in a safe and effective manner. These activities include the following:

  1. The physical therapist must communicate with the patient clearly and effectively regarding the process.
  2. The treatment must be adapted so that it accommodates the needs and the preferences of the patient.
  3. The dry needles must be handled and controlled in an effective fashion so that tissues may be appropriately palpitated.
  4. Dry needling must be performed on only the areas in which the PT has been trained.
  5. Professional standards and ethical standards must be adhered to when physical therapists perform dry needling.


Specific Knowledge Requirements to Perform Dry Needling as a Physical Therapist
The study concluded that the following specific knowledge must be obtained by the physical therapist seeking to incorporate the dry needling process in their treatment plan:

  1. The physical therapist must have a broad level of knowledge when it comes to surface anatomy of the body. This knowledge should directly pertain to the tissues, organs, and other structures that rest against various surfaces often used for dry needling. Additionally, the PT should know and understand the topic of anatomical landmarks.
  2. The physical therapist must know how to properly handle needles and the hygiene associated with their use.
  3. The professional should know how to handle physical and emotional emergencies during the dry needling procedures. Examples of these emergencies include anxiety, shock, agitation, and vasovagal.
  4. Safety and protection standards, as they relate to dry needling, must be known.

Dry needling has been found to be highly effective in targeting myofascial trigger point pain, such as that experienced in fibromyalgia. The purpose and intent of using this type of treatment is to normalize the muscle and tissue around where the pain is experienced so that the pain may be successfully eliminated. In addition to eliminating pain, dry needling is effective in reducing the tension of the muscles, addressing electrical and biochemical dysfunction, and aiding in the overall success of physical therapy treatment. If you have a physical therapy facility, you should integrate dry needling treatment as an option for your patients. For more information on optimizing the effectiveness of your physical therapy facility and/or program, simply visit our blog today by clicking on the following link: https://coloradophysicaltherapynetwork.com/blog/