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Foundations in Dry Needling for Orthopedic Rehab and Sport Performance

Course Description:

In this 25-hour lab-based course, the clinician will learn a diagnosis-focused approach to dry needling. The clinician will learn fundamental skills necessary for safe and proper needle insertion and removal, as well as effective strategies to manage commonly encountered pathologies in orthopedic and sport rehabilitation. Safety considerations are emphasized. Current science and research will be presented, along with a vast amount of clinical experience and pearls, allowing immediate application of dry needling into the clinicians’ professional practice. The use intramuscular electrical stimulation will also be discussed, demonstrated and practiced in class.

***Please note cupping will be removed from the Foundations course curriculum starting 2/11/19 and will be taught in a separate course from that point forward. Please continue to check the website for upcoming course information and dates. If you have any questions please e-mail

Areas of the body to be covered in class include:

  • Upper extremity
  • Lower extremity
  • Cervical spine (C2-C7)
  • Lumbar spine (L3 and below)
  • Face and Head

Upon course completion, the clinician will:

  • Adhere to safe needling techniques, including universal precautions and blood borne pathogen education per the CDC and/or OSHA given a specific case study.
  • Integrate surface anatomy palpation and layered anatomy application for safety considerations when inserting a dry needle into a patient given a specific case study.
  • List contraindications and precautions for dry needling and intramuscular electrical stimulation application.
  • Master application of dry needling techniques for common orthopedic pathologies and sport related dysfunctions given a specific case study
  • Master application of intramuscular electrical stimulation for the common orthopedic pathologies and sport related dysfunctions given a specific case study.
  • Given a specific case study, correctly integrate dry needling and intramuscular electrical stimulation into the overall treatment program.
  • Pass a written and practical exam


A professional education and license that allows you to perform dry needling as a health care professional

Professionals who may take this course include:

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Medical Doctors
  • Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Physician Assistants
  • Registered Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Acupuncturists

Required Reading:

  1. Physiologic Effects of Dry Needling. Barbara Cagnie
    • Cagnie, B, Dewitte, V, Barbe, T, Timmermans, F, Delrue, N, and Meeus, M. Physiologic Effects of Dry Needling. Curr Pain Headache Rep 17, 2013
  2. Dry needling: a lit review with implications for clinical practice. James Dunning
    • Dunning J, Butts R, Mourad F, Young I, Flannagan S, Perreault T. Dry needling: a literature review with implications for clinical practice guidelines1. Phys Ther Rev. 2014;19(4):252-265.
  3. Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture: The Ongoing Debate. Kehua Zhou
    • Zhou K, Ma Y, Brogan MS. Dry needling versus acupuncture: the ongoing debate. Acupunct Med J Br Med Acupunct Soc. November 2015. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2015-010911.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Stecco, L. Fascial Manipulation for Musculoskeletal Pain. Picin: Padova, IT;. 2004.
  2. Dung, H. Acupuncture: An Anatomical Approach. 2nd Edition. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL; 2014.
  3. Trail Guide to the Body 5th Edition
  4. Palpation Techniques: Surface Anatomy for Physical Therapists

Required Course Supplies:

  1. An anatomy reference
    1. Human Anatomy Atlas for iPad/ iPhone/ Android- $24.99 App Store
      2. This code will be emailed to you 7-10 days prior to the course you are registered for
  2. Portable TENS Unit Links open in a new window.
    1. Analog 250 TENS unit
    2. Alligator Clips
  3. If you have a latex allergy, it is recommended for you to bring your own gloves for use during lab.

You will receive an email 7-10 prior to the course you register for with the following:

  1. Any course specific instructions such as location reminder, parking instructions, etc.
  2. A code for the Visable Body app
  3. Instructions for the use of this code will be provided at that time. Please be sure to download and successfully access this app prior to class.
  4. Log-in information and instructions for the back end of
    1. This log in information will allow you to access power points, class forums, helpful forms, etc.
    2. Please be sure to log in successfully to the back end of the website prior to class

For more information on CEU approval, please click here

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