Colorado Approves Dry Needling in PT Scope of Practice

Having formally added dry needling to the Physical Therapy scope of practice in 2005, Colorado has more recently produced guidelines for physical therapists to advance through the dry needling training and incorporate it into their clinical practice.

For a copy of Colorado’s rules for physical therapists, dated May 2019, click here (pages 16-17). In this document, Rule 211 offers requirements for physical therapists to perform dry needling. It defines dry needling and states:

In order to perform dry needling, a physical therapist must have the knowledge, skill, ability, and documented competency to perform dry needling. 

Please read Rule 211 to determine specific guidelines for physical therapists entering a course of study in dry needling. Many of KinetaCore’s Functional Dry Needling® courses, including our 3-day Level 1 course, meet these guidelines.

The updated requirements include a minimum of 50 hours of education, 40 hours of which must be in-person. The education may be broken up into more than one part. A physical therapist is permitted the limited practice of dry needling once they have completed 30 hours of education, provided such practice is confined to the scope of education already completed. All parts of the 50 hours of education must be completed within four years.

As of May 2019, the Colorado Board of Rules and Regulations has removed their stipulation that physical therapists must have at least two years of experience before they may practice dry needling. Those therapists who have already met the former requirements, including 46 hours of education, have been grandfathered in. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they meet Colorado’s requirements for dry needling before beginning to practice. 

KinetaCore serves only as an educational resource to clinicians and does not make any claim on professional licensure. It is always the practitioner’s responsibility to determine what is within their scope of practice. Participants are allowed to learn any technique through continuing education, but whether or not they can use this technique in their patient practice is determined by current licensing bodies. KinetaCore is a strong advocate of advancing the field of physical therapy and will encourage physical therapists to continue to be advocates for their profession.

If you have specific questions about your scope of practice, please contact your licensing board. KinetaCore recommends each practitioner be knowledgeable in their licensing body’s current decisions and rulings.

For further information and experience with KinetaCore’s Functional Dry Needling® we invite you to attend one of our Level 1 FDN training courses.