APTA adds dry needling to Guidelines for PT Scope of Practice
The APTA Board of Directors recently amended its current Board guidelines on physical therapist scope of practice to explicitly include dry needling. The APTA Board guideline titled "
Guidelines: Physical Therapist Scope of Practice BOD G02-14-18-12
" provides an outline of the various tests, measures, treatment interventions, and activities that are performed by licensed physical therapists.
The guidelines are intended to educate the public, payers, and other providers about the scope of practice of physical therapists, as well as to provide guidance to state policymakers when considering the legal scope of physical therapist practice. The revised APTA Board guideline specifically lists dry needling under the section that outlines the various treatment interventions performed by physical therapists. Dry needling will also be specifically included in the next edition of the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice 3.0 (3rd edition), to be released this August. The inclusion of dry needling in both of these APTA documents comes on the heels of increased challenges from other providers seeking to restrict the ability of qualified physical therapists to utilize this important treatment intervention. APTA has published
two white papers
on the performance of dry needling by physical therapists, and this year's APTA State Policy and Payment Forum will include programming on the state scope challenges related to dry needling.
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