Physical therapist practitioners have a desire to expand their services to include a widely-popular pain alleviation technique that is currently limited to those that mainly practice acupuncture, dry needling.

Dry Needling

In recent months, those that specialize in physical therapy and the legislative body over these practitioners have relaunched a special campaign to integrate the dry needling service into their practices.

This comes despite the fact that state officials have previously ruled that this particular service was not within their professional scope.

Legislation have now taken official steps by amending a bill that would permit the practice of dry needling in the physical therapy practice.

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states….”Carol Welch

The legislative committee is the Colorado House Public Health Care & Human Services organization. The bill that includes dry needling was voted on and the results were 10 to 3.

If this particular bill is successfully passed and it is officially signed in by the governor within the state, it would extend the licenses of the professional physical therapists within the state and the certification that they and their assistants hold until the year of 2027.

In the past, dry needling could be offered within the state; however, those in the acupuncture industry were highly critical of this action.

Those that specialize in acupuncture are professionally skilled in Chinese principles from ancient history.

They use needles on various points of the body to activate the impulses of nerves. In turn, this activity aids in the alleviation of pain and/or the reduction of symptoms associated with various medical conditions.

It is common for these acupuncturists to utilize dry needles. That is, there is no injection of any type of material into the body.

The dry needle is placed within the skin, near the nerve that the professional wishes to initiate a response. While physical therapists have offered this service, they did so under heavy levels of scrutiny.

One of the main argument presented against physical therapists is that they lack the certification and experience to practice therapies that are considered to be “internal”; however, the physical therapy community argues that it is quite capable of receiving the same training and certifications that acupuncture professionals have in order to practice the art of dry needling.

Physical therapists are not attempting to take away from those in acupuncture, they are simply reaching out to include new services that aid in helping patients achieve pain relief without the use of opioids.

The new bill that is being proposed offers many new advances for physical therapists. Examples include making PT diagnoses, the ability to perform non-invasive types of wound debridement, the continuation of competency programs in PT, and removing restrictions associated with the Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act previously put into place.

If you are a physical therapy that wants to provide many treatment options for pain relief with your patients, it is imperative that you support this bill and the integration of dry needling into our practices.

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