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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7/26/19  4:59 pm
Commenter: Steve Olson, The Therapy Network (Physical Therapy clinic)

Dry Needling by Physical Therapists

Over the past 10 years I have worked with PT's who have utilized dry needling technique to address soft tissue restrictions (also called myofascial restrictions, myofascial trigger points, or trigger points) of a wide variety of patients, including myself and  my wife.

I have seen and heard first hand the relief gained from dry needling as patients have reported decreased pain with movement, improved movement/range of motion, and increased tolerance of previous activities that they had stopped doing due to pain and stiffness. Chronic pain patients also report much improved function and productivity when regularly receiving dry needling treatments.

Dry needling has become an important tool that PT's now use more widely due to it's increased efficiency and to address muscle restrictions versus other manual techniques. In a manner of minutes, muscle function can be restored or much improved. The reason dry needling has become more of a common practice should be obvious: it gets results of better outcomes.

I have read comments that practitioners should undergo years of training before being allowed to stick a needle into anyone. Well, PT's do undergo years of training. It starts with prerequisite classes to get into PT school, then gross anatomy and many other classes involving manual lab sessions to build palpation skills and written course work to ensure sound knowledge of anatomy. The continuing education classes required to get certified for practicing dry needling build on a foundation already gained through years of study and clinical practice.

I have not read any comments against nurses who use needles to draw blood or give injections. Some of them have far less education than PT's.

I hope the board will use good judgment and wisdom when considering comments dismissing PT's as not qualified and only going to weekend classes to gain training. This is far from the truth, and seems to be generated by turf war mentality and not in line with team approach to patient care.

I hate to think of how many people would continue to suffer increased pain and/or take much longer to get to desired outcomes of treatment if PT's were not allowed to perform dry needling technique.

Thank you for soliciting comments and I hope you will find mine helpful in resolving this practice act.


Steve Olson, LPTA 

CommentID: 74411