Dry Needling Scope of Practice
The American Physical Therapy Association Supports Dry Needling as Within the Scope of Practice for Physical Therapists!
It is YOUR responsibility to know what your scope of practice says regarding Dry Needling.
As of January 2012 the APTA has published a White Paper and, soon to follow, a memorandum supporting Physical Therapists providing Dry Needling. To view the paper on the APTA website click here, then click on Dry Needling.
Several states have determined and accepted Functional Dry Needling® (FDN/TDN) to be within the Scope of Practice for Physical Therapists. For the remaining states, clinicians throughout the country are working with their state boards to gain acceptance of this technique. KinetaCore® is dedicated to this technique and making it readily available for patients in the US as it is in many other countries across the globe. We are happy to assist providers in any way possible so that this treatment technique can be accepted in every state. Please contact us if you are interested in approaching your state board on the topic of dry needling.
Click here for the federation of state boards website (includes links to every state's practice act, etc.)
Massachusetts has a unique tool to determine whether any treatment or therapy is within your scope of practice as a physical therapist -- click here to check it out. We recommend providing this to your board as a helpful tool to assist them in making the decision to support DN to be within the scope of practice for physical therapists or related fields.
The Dry Needling Status of Your State
To find out the status and stance on FDN for a particular state, please use the menu to the right and click on the state of interest. If a state is not listed it is likely that your state has not made a determination one way or another or we do not have supporting documentation one way or the other.
Currently the only states that have made a ruling against Dry Needling being within the scope of practice for physical therapists are California, Utah, New York, Idaho, Hawaii and Florida, mainly due to verbiage in the practice act against puncturing the skin.
We recommend contacting your PT Board to voice your interest in providing this treatment technique. If you are interested in pursuing your state's acceptance of FDN/TDN please contact us, as we may be able to assist you in doing so.
The Federation of State Boards has published a position paper to also help determine whether Dry Needling is allowed in your state. Based on this paper, only six states do not allow physical therapists to do this technique. Remember, you are always responsible for the treatment you perform on your patients and, more importantly, the training you have taken to allow you to perform those treatments safely under your license.
Here is the link to the article as posted on the FSBPT website: Intramuscular Position Paper by Federation of State Boards. This document is updated annually.
Currently the APTA president Scott Ward has issued several statements in support of Dry Needling being within the scope of practice for physical therapists. Click here to see a letter that was sent to the Delaware Board from Scott Ward.