Strong Support for New Dry Needling Legislature

By Carol Cote, PT, CCTT, CODN, CMTPT

On Monday, March 16 the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee hearing at the State House in Trenton took place. Many supporters were present to support legislative bill (A1648) – The Physical Therapy Practice Act as well as the issue of dry needling.

Testifying at the hearing in support of Dry Needling were:

Group Picture

  • Mr. David Diehl, Retired Offensive Lineman, New York Football Giants (far left)
  • Dr. Brian Mason, President, American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey (second from right)
  • Dr. Richard Podell, Medical Doctor, Clinical Professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (far right)
  • Dr. Josef Tuazon, Physical Therapist/Owner, A Better Life Physical Therapy (not pictured)
  • Also seen in photo:
    • Daniel Klim, Executive Director, American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey (second from left)
    • Carol Cote, President and Director of North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates (in front)

The prepared testimony included the following:

  • Dr. Mason provided an overview of the bill to inform the legislators of its contents.  He cited that the biggest conflict lies with dry needling.
  • Dr. Podell followed and provided insight and support for why a physical therapist is more than qualified to perform dry needling.  He gave this from the credible perspective of a double board-certified, Harvard-educated clinician.
  • Mr. Diehl gave the patient perspective and reflected on his 11-year professional football career.  He cited that he used both dry needling and acupuncture as a player, and drew the following distinction: he used acupuncture to relax his muscles, while using dry needling, performed by the Giants’ PT Dr. Leigh Weiss, to rehab from injury and stimulate his muscle recovery.
  • Dr. Tuazon anchored the panel, speaking about the small business side and how he uses dry needling on a daily basis.  As a former professional fighter and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion who trained in Asia and studied Oriental Medicine, he distinguished between dry needling and acupuncture and why dry needling is a more effective technique for his patients.

The following legislators were extremely engaged and followed up with questions at the hearing:

Giblin, Thomas P. – Chair (District 34)
Jimenez, Angelica M. – Vice-Chair (District 32)
Ciattarelli, Jack M. (District 16)
Diegnan, Patrick J. (District 18)
Handlin, Amy H. (District 13)
Kean, Sean T. (District 30)
Mazzeo, Vincent (District 2)
Moriarty, Paul D. (District 4)
Muoio, Elizabeth Maher (District 15)

Convincing arguments were presented to the legislators to hopefully have them vote “Yes” on A1648 and permit dry needling to remain in the bill in the future!

Unprecedented Benefits from Dry Needling

By Carol Cote, PT, CCTT, CODN, CMTPT

Dry Needling provides unprecedented benefits when addressing soft-tissue pain and dysfunction. It is the right tool for the problem. It is the right treatment strategy for the diagnosis: myofascial dysfunction (painful muscles that are uncoordinated in the involuntary system that holds your body against gravity). According to “Dry Needling for Management of Pain in the Upper Quarter and Craniofacial Region” in Current Pain and Headache Reports, June 10, 2014:

Dry needling is a therapeutic intervention that has growing popularity. It is primarily used with patients that have pain of myofascial origin.”

Abstract Conclusion:
In order to effective manage patients with the complex problem of craniofacial pain, it is imperative to perform a careful examination, including assessment of upper quarter Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrP), and utilize a comprehensive treatment paradigm {58,59,102}. The increasing popularity of dry needling as a therapeutic intervention should be viewed in light of evidence of it its effectiveness. Although additional research is needed before more definitive conclusions can be made, the evidence to date suggests that dry needling is effective, especially in the short term, for reducing pain in patients with upper quarter myofascial pain. Findings from a small number of individual studies also suggest that dry needling may be beneficial for patients with craniofacial pain associated with headache or TMJ involvement. Clearly, more rigorously designed randomized controlled trials are needed before definitive conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of dry needling for the craniofacial area as well as other regions of the body. A small but growing body of literature has suggested that dry needing leads to favorable outcomes for a number of lower body conditions.

The addition of dry needling to the therapeutic process, when performed by trained practitioners, requires minimal low cost equipment and can be administered in relatively short periods of time, thus, making it an economically efficient means of reducing pain in patients with neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Clinicians interested in dry needling should continue to remain appraised of new studies regarding effectiveness for dry needling and optimal technique and dosing.

58. Mannheimer J. prevention and restoration of abnormal upper quarter posture. In: Geib H. Belb M, editors. Postural considerations in the diagnosis and treatment of cranio-cervical-mandibular and related chronic pain disorders. St. Louis: Mosby, 1994
59. Mannheimer J., Dunn J. the cervical spine: its evaluation and relation to temporomandibular disorders. In: Kaplan A, editor. Textbook of craniomandibular disorders. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1991.
102. Issa T, Huijbregts P. Physical therapy diagnosis and management of a patient with chronic daily headache: a case report. J. Manual Manip Ther. 2006;14(4):E88-123

To read more, click here (requires Springer Link account).

Faster and Greater Improvement with Dry Needling!

By Carol Cote, PT, CCTT, CODN, CMTPT

According to the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, November 24, Volume 44, Number 11:

“The results of this clinical trial suggest that 2 sessions of Trigger Point Dry Needling and Trigger Point Manual Therapy resulted in similar outcomes in terms of pain, disability, and cervical range of motion. Those in the Trigger Point Dry Needling Group experienced greater improvements in Pressure Point Threshold over the cervical spine. Future trials are needed to examine the effects of Trigger Point Dry Needling and Trigger Point Manual Therapy over long-term follow-up periods.”

To read more, click here (requires JOSPT membership).