Does your Scope of Practice allow Dry Needling?

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Dry Needling Scope of Practice

U.S. State Dry Needling Scope of Practice Decisions

Resource: Federation of State Boards

The American Physical Therapy Association states that Dry Needling is within the scope of practice for a Physical Therapist. Several other health professions cite that dry needling is within their specific scope of practice as well. There are however, specific U.S. state rules, regulations and guidelines that do not permit the practice of dry needling. It is your responsibility to know, understand and practice within the specific rules, regulations and guidelines of your state, jurisdiction and professional license.

The Integrative Dry Needling Institute LLC is solely an educational resource to provide the knowledge and technical skills necessary to deliver safe and effective dry needling treatment. The Integrative Dry Needling Institute LLC does not make policy, claims, or interpretation on professional licensure or scope of practice. The Integrative Dry Needling Institute LLC encourages all participants to contact their licensing board for official positions and rulings related to the practice of dry needling.

Allow

October 23 2007: Board Minutes: Acupuncture & Dry Needling does fall within the scope of practice for physical therapy.

 

In April 2012, the Alaska PhysicalTherapy and Occupational Therapy Board approved dry needling by physical therapists.

On April 25th, 2014 the Arizona physical therapy statute was ammended to include dry needling within the physical therapy scope of practice.

On May 28, 2009, the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy ruled that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

September 2013: Colorado Governor signs into law that Dry Needling is in the scope of practice for Physical Therapy.

July 1st. 2014: Delaware passed a bill that redefines and expands the ‘practice of physical therapy’ and ‘athletic training’ to include the use of dry needling treatment.

As of July 1st 2020, Physical Therapist in the state of Florida gained the legal right to perform dry needling.

On May 12, 2011 the Governor of Georgia signed the Bill into law effective July 1, 2011. Georgia became the first state in the United States where dry needling became part of the Physical Therapy Statutes.

In February 2018, the Idaho Board of Physical Therapy approved dry needling by physical therapists.

Effective 8-25-17  Dry needling is in the scope of a Physical Therapist’s practice, however, they need to meet the legal requirements as set by the board.

On January 14, 2016, the Iowa Board of Physical & Occupational Therapy issued a Ruling on the Petition for Declaratory Order and concluded that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice as defined in Iowa Code section 148A.1(1)(b).

Dry needling was added to the Kansas statute on May 13, 2016 after Governor Brownback signed the bill.

In December 2004, the Kentucky State Board of Physical Therapy determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In May 2011, the Louisiana Board of Physical Therapy issued standards of practice for the utilization of dry needling techniques, which formally established dry needling in the scope of practice of a physical therapist. 

In June 2016, the Maine Board of Examiners in Physical Therapy ruled that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In 1984, the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners was the first physical therapy board in the US that approved dry needling by physical therapists.

In September 2012, the Mississippi Attorney General issued a legal opinion that “the Physical Therapy Board acted within the scope of its authority when promulgating the proposed rule including the use of needles for therapeutic treatment as a technique within the scope of the statutory definition of the practice of physical therapy.

In May 2011, the Montana Board of Physical Therapy determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In June 2011, the Nebraska Board of Physical Therapy decided that “a Nebraska licensed physical therapist may perform dry needling as long as he/she can competently perform such a procedure. This does not include physical therapy assistants”.

In March 2012, the Nevada Board of Physical Therapy Examiners reversed its 2008 decision, and approved dry needling by physical therapists.

In March 2002, the New Hampshire Physical Therapy Governing Board determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

P.L. 2021,c.382 was signed by Governor Murphy on January 18, 2022 which permits physical therapists to perform dry needling under certain circumstances. The law becomes effective 90 days from January 18, 2022. Under this statute a licensed physical therapist must complete a continuing education and competency program approved by the New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.  The law requires board approved dry needling continuing education and competency programs, which include at least 40 hours of academic instruction, attendance in person by a physical therapist, and the ability to complete the program in no more than two years. The programs are also required to include a minimum of 40 hours in practical hands-on instruction, under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience in the performance of dry needling or by a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this State, in the application of technique of dry needling. Licensees must complete a total of 80 hours from Board Approved dry needling continuing education and competency programs to qualify to practice dry needling in New Jersey.  The Board approved dry needling continuing education and/or competency courses/programs at its May 24, 2022 meeting- go to Continuing Education Tab on the left side of the Board’s homepage. Then click on February 1, 2022 thru January 31, 2026 under Approved Continuing Education Course Lists. If you complete a course/program and it is not approved by the Board, it will not be in compliance with the law. Please check the Board’s website for updates regarding dry needling and dry needling continuing education and/or competency programs under Continuing Education and Frequently Asked Questions.

In 1999, the New Mexico Physical Therapy determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

On December 7, 2018, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the Physical Therapy Board’s declaratory ruling affirming that dry needling constitutes physical therapy and falls within the scope of physical therapy in North Carolina.

In May 2013, the North Dakota Physical Therapy Board approved dry needling to be within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In January 2007, the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletics Trainers Board determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In May 2012 the Rhode Island Board of Physical Therapy approved dry needling by physical therapists.

In October 2004, the South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice

On April 9, 2015, Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law effective July 1, 2015 allowing Physical Therapists to perform dry needling.

In January 2008, the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners determined that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice.

On April 1: Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed into law HB 367. The legislation amends the Utah physical therapy statute to specifically add dry needling to the physical therapist scope of practice.

On June 22, 2015, the Office of Regulation replied pointing out that “under the existing law, the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation believes that physical therapists reasonably may practice TDN if appropriately trained and experienced, and if the therapy is reasonably indicated for the relief of an impairment of physical movement.”

 

Guidance Document 112-9

Board of Physical Therapy Guidance on Dry Needling in the Practice of Physical Therapy Upon recommendation from the Task Force on Dry Needling, the board voted that dry needling is within the scope of practice of physical therapy

Novemember 2009: The District of Columbia Board of Physical Therapy approved dry needling to be within the scope of physical therapy practice.

In July 2012 the West Virginia Board of Physical Therapy issued its “Opinion regarding Dry Needling Therapy” and concluded that dry needling is within the scope of practice of "physical therapy".

In a letter dated Aug 18 2009: the Wyoming Board of Physical Therapy affirmed that nothing in the current practice act would preclude PTs performing dry needling with proper credentials.

No Opinion

The Connecticut Board of Examiners has not ruled for or against physical therapists performing dry needling.

The Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professionals has not formally ruled on dry needling by physical therapists.

The Michigan Board of Physical Therapy has not formally ruled on dry needling by physical therapists.

The Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy is prohibited from issuing advisory opinions or position statements. Therefore, there is no formal ruling on dry needling by physical therapists.

The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Advisory Commission for Physical Therapists) has not formally ruled on dry needling by physical therapists.

The Oklahoma Medical Board Physical Therapists Committee has not formally ruled on dry needling by physical therapists.

Currently it remains undetermined whether dry needling is within the scope of PT practice in Pennsylvania.

There is currently no position on whether dry needling is or is not in the scope of a physical therapists practice.

Not Allowed

Dry Needling is prohibited in CA. 

In Hawaii, physical therapists are not allowed to penetrate the skin and therefore dry needling is not within the scope of PT practice.

In 1992, the New York Board of Education concluded that dry needling would not be allowed by physical therapists.

On May 17, 2017, the Attorney General of Oregon issued a statement that dry needling is not within the scope of practice of a physical therapist licensed in Oregon.

On April 15, 2016, the Attorney General of Washington State concluded that “the definition of the practice of physical therapy indicates that the legislature did not intend to include dry needling within the scope of practice.

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