Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Physical Therapy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Physical Therapy [18 VAC 112 ‑ 20]
Action Practice of dry needling
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 7/26/2019
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7/22/19  11:38 am
Commenter: Matt Garber, US Army

Tissue Dry Needling

Tissue Dry Needling (TDN) is a treatment procedure used safely by physical therapists for many years. It is a very safe, effective, and practical modality to treat patients in pain and provides an excellent alternative to opioids and other medications.

TDN is not acupuncture. TDN is part of modern western medicine principles, not a traditional Chinese medical practice performed by acupuncturists.

As a site visitor for the accreditation of physical therapist education programs, and an instructor in multiple programs, including some in Virginia where I am a licensed PT, I can assure you that TDN is within the scope of practice of PT and part of PT education due to PTs strong academic preparation in anatomy and therapeutic procedures. PTs also get post-graduate education and training in TDN to support their extensive education in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapies. As a military PT for over 27 years, we have used TDN extensively within the Military Health System as an effective alternative to opioids and a field expedient technique to decrease pain and improve military readiness.

Please support this regulation being approved as part of physical therapist practice.


Matt Garber



CommentID: 73734