In orthopaedic manual physical therapy, the techniques get all the attention. Manipulation, mobilization, muscle energy, neural mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, etc. You can now add Dry Needling (DN) to this list. Any seasoned clinician will tell you that learning these techniques, with practice, is the easy part. Being able to implement them effectively is the hard part.
Considering DN, understanding the genesis of myofascial pain, applicable pain science, the mechanisms of DN, its application to orthopaedic diagnoses, and the proper historical context is crucial to understanding the theory behind DN. However, when not placed in the context of a thorough subjective history, a comprehensive neuromusculoskeletal examination, appropriate differential diagnosis and clinical reasoning, it can be challenging to accurately identify the most appropriate patients and achieve optimal patient outcomes.
Our upcoming Dry Needling Upper Quadrant Course is designed to bridge the gap between DN theory to how this tool can be integrated into clinical practice seamlessly by presenting a case based approach with heavy emphasis on clinical reasoning in order to provide first time exposure and education to clinicians on DN as well as review and improve effective technique with clinicians currently utilizing DN. With concerns about complications from the invasive nature of dry needling, ample amount of lab time will be spent on surface anatomy and palpation to ensure accurate location of relevant regional anatomy and safety of technique.
In the video below, I demonstrate dry needling of the infraspinatus, levator scapulae, upper trapezius and cervical multifidus as a treatment modality addressing segmental facilitation. Let me know if you have questions and check out our 2017 schedule for more manual therapy courses.