Is dry needling within the scope of practice of a physical therapist?
Statement from Federation of State Boards
American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist Dry Needling Statement
American Physical Therapy Association Supports Dry Needling
Commentary on Dry Needling & Scope of Practice
Haynes Method of Neuromuscular Dry Needling®
Dr. Haynes has studied different methodologies of dry needling and has developed a unique approach to dry needling. There are approaches that focus specifically on individual muscles, individual trigger points and hybrids taken from the field of acupuncture. The most clinically beneficial approach is an amalgam of those approaches but focused on both the neuromuscular function in the regional tissues and the physiological movement patterns that occur in the region.
The Haynes Method of Neuromuscular Dry Needling® is not simply about placing needles into muscles or tissues. The process of dry needling is only a small part in the process of decreasing pain. To decrease pain in a body system it is first necessary decrease the localized tissue inflammation by determining what the causative issue is. Overuse, trauma, mechanical issues such as tightness or poor posture, and congenital or degenerative pathology can all be causes of the local tissue inflammation. The Haynes Method of Neuromuscular Dry Needling™ starts with that identification, when possible.
The next step is to localize the movement system involved and the specific muscles and tissue that are causing the pain and tenderness. Dr. Haynes has developed specific needling protocols that start with a minimalist approach and progress to a larger body area if necessary. At times a single location can be reduced in order to decrease the tissue inflammation, in other cases it is required to needle into associated supporting muscles and structures.
The final steps involve a specific program of flexibility and strengthening. In most cases the body region has been in a state of neuromuscular tension for an extended period resulting in tightened and weakened tissues. Dry needling itself can reduce the neuromuscular tension but will only be helpful for a short period of time without a targeted flexibility and strengthening program.
While dry needling is a very exciting advance in the Physical Therapy world in management of pain symptoms the Haynes Method of Neuromuscular Dry Needling® stays focused on decreasing neuromuscular tension, increasing flexibility and strength in the affected region and ultimately about returning to an active lifestyle.