Athletic Trainers May Now Perform Dry Needling in Florida!
Get Certified in Dry Needling in Florida with the Best, Most Comprehensive, Sports Oriented, BOC Approved Dry Needling Seminars
Florida Department of Health: Board of Athletic Training: New Dry Needling Protocols in AT Scope of Practice
Click on "Final 64B33-4.001 – Protocols; Scope of Practice" (ID 26569287)
Scroll to #8
Always refer to your scope of practice and professional board to confirm eligibility.
Related: Dry Needling Course Schedule
The implementation of dry needling significantly increases athletic performance, patient population and revenue, secondary to improving patient outcomes more quickly and effectively. This is also an excellent way to amplify or simply begin a cash-based portion of your business. All athletic trainers should become competent in the implementation of dry needling and joint manipulation into clinical practice. There are no better tools out there to recover from injury and maximize athletic performance
Will Implementing DN into a PT Practice Increase Athletic Performance, Patient Population, & Clinic Revenue?
Yes, without question. My wife Angela and I have had numerous opportunities to introduce DN to clinics while we were working as travel PT’s. In every instance, after a couple of months of needling in the clinic, the patient population swelled. Having played division 1 ice hockey in college and having worked with a multitude of high-level athletic organizations, such as the Philadelphia Flyers and Brown University, I can tell you from personal experience that dry needling, especially when combined with joint manipulation, are potent treatments that rapidly boost athletic and mental performance.
DN is so wonderfully, quickly effective compared to typical treatments, word gets out fast. You will have family members and friends of current patients calling the clinic nonstop because they have heard of some new magical treatment being performed. Aside from this, if needling is performed properly, surgeons will want their patients seen in your clinic specifically for needling because patient outcomes when needling is incorporated into treatment are far superior.
The implementation of needling also allows for fast and effective treatment of things that have not been quickly or easily treatable before, without needles. Things like cervicogenic dizziness, incontinence, plantar fasciitis, iliopsoas pathology, multifidus pathology, turf toe, groin strains, and epicondylitis, to name a few. All of these factors lead to more interest and business for your clinic. Not to mention improved athletic performance and patient outcomes.
What is the Biggest Reason to Implement DN into Your Clinical Practice?
Thoughtfully performed DN has profound homeostatic effects on ANS homeostasis. Needling is, without question, the most powerful tool PT’s have at their disposal to quickly and effectively regulate the ANS toward homeostasis. The vast majority of PT patients present with sympathetic ANS hyperactivity. Remember, the ANS includes the gut-brain-axis (enteric nervous system + brain) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These two axes control the majority of hormone and neurotransmitter concentrations, along with the majority of our immune response.
Overall, needling has a dampening effect on the sympathetic portion of the ANS and elevates the parasympathetic portion. If the parasympathetic portions of the ANS are directly targeted, the homeostatic effect on the ANS is increased. ANS homeostasis helps improve every medical impairment that comes to mind.
Below is some information on hosting a course and below that is another short article specifically discussing dry needling and joint manipulation in Athletic Training practice.
Hosting a Course
If you work for a university or athletic team or anywhere else and would like to host or attend a course to learn about dry needling or manipulation, let us know and we will get something squared away.
We teach 4 dry needling and 3 manipulation classes and offer 3 unique certifications, including our 7-course Intricate Art Manual Therapy Certification (IAMTC), 4-course Intricate Art Dry Needling Certified Specialist (IADN Cert. Specialist), and our 2-course Intricate Art Dry Needling certification (IADN cert.). Let me know if anyone has any questions about anything. Talk to you soon.
- For 9 paid students, the host receives 1 free spot ($895 value).
- For 15 paying students, the host receives an additional (2 total) free spots ($1,790 value).
Dry Needling & Joint Manipulation: The Most Powerful Tools for Athletic Trainers to Maximize Athletic Performance
Dry needling combined with joint manipulation is the most powerful tool on planet earth to rapidly improve neuromusculoskeletal performance and recovery from injury. There is no better way to optimize muscle length, improve blood flow, facilitate improved muscle firing patterns, increase nerve conduction velocity, and regulate the ANS toward homeostasis. Needling and joint manipulation allow the body to function at maximal output. Joints don’t move themselves; muscles and other external forces do. Joints also can’t move without moving muscles, even if there are no muscular attachments, like the scaphoid and Talus. Freakin weirdos. What kind of bones have no muscle attachments anyway? Slackers! Joints and soft tissue are intricately entangled and the function of one is highly dependent on the function of the other. For this reason, it is physiologically impossible for athletes to perform at their highest potential without regular intervention including dry needling and joint manipulation.
Dry needling and joint manipulation are potent tools on their own. However, when used together, their synergistic effects produce faster and far higher levels of healing than when used alone. High-level athletes abuse their bodies, and have their bodies abused, on a regular basis. Except for baseball players, but that is another conversation… Unless athletes have superpowers like Wolverine, which would be awesome, their bodies require constant attention to heal and perform at the highest level possible. With physical or mental stress, strain, or trauma, the sympathetic nervous system turns up, releasing norepinephrine, cortisol, and pro inflammatory substances, along with a cascade of other responses, readying the body for action. With any significant, lasting injury, or with enough small, minor injuries, the overall sum of negative afferent nerve signals to the brain crosses the individual threshold for maintaining normal systemic function. When this happens, every system in our body dysfunctions.
Thoughtfully performed needling combined with joint manipulation allows the body to utilize its awesome, innate ability to function and heal as well as it possibly can. Without needles, the only muscle treatment possible is indirect. The deeper the muscle or tissue, the more indirect the treatment. Needles, conversely, allow us to directly treat a large percentage of the soft tissue in the body. This is a key factor determining the efficacy and speed of treatment. Direct treatment is far more effective than indirect treatment.
The most significant change these two techniques induce is ANS homeostasis. All mechanical pathology, such as periostitis, tendinopathy, chronic strains, capsular adhesions, etc., especially when chronic, are primarily secondary to dysfunction of our nervous systems, the ANS in particular. There can be no chronic mechanical pathology without abnormal neurophysiologic function. Therefore, if athletes’ nervous systems are not being specifically targeted and treated in the proper manner, on a regular basis, which should include needling and joint manipulation, our most potent tools, their performance will never be maximized.
Aside from being the best tools to quickly and effectively return the ANS to homeostasis, needling and joint manipulation are the fastest and most effective techniques to normalize and improve soft tissue. Trigger points, or knots in muscles, act just like a knot in a rope. The more knots you put in the rope, the shorter it gets. Trigger points, hypercontracted bundles of myocytes / sarcomeres are also capable of reducing over 90% of blood flowing through them. This leads to hypoxia, chemical imbalance, etc. Needling directly into trigger points is the best method to remove them. Looking at ultrasound, when the needle enters a trigger point, the whole thing dissolves or part of it dissolves. If part of it dissolves, entering the trigger point at different locations will dissolve the rest of it. This typically induces muscle twitching, which is not necessary but not always. Normal muscle length is one of the key, basic factors determining muscle performance.
Following soft tissue treatment with needles, joint manipulation becomes easier for the practitioner, more comfortable for the patient, and produces more effective and lasting results. Needling and manipulation have synergistic effects on depressing sympathetic and elevating parasympathetic activity. This synergy is amplified if you needle first, then manipulate. Needling reduces muscle tonicity, improves vascular and microvascular circulation, and improves capsular pliability. These factors allow a skilled manipulator to assess and feel for joint restrictions more accurately and perform a more effective manipulation. Needling prior to manipulation prepares the joint for complete reduction to neutral with minimal compressive or shearing forces on the joint. Without prior needling, muscles attaching to and crossing a pathologic joint are going to be tight. This compresses the joint, which is one of the most harmful chronic things a joint can experience. Manipulating compressed joints increase shearing forces on discs and other collagenous structures. By first reducing muscle shortening and joint compression, you provide a joint the ability to move normally during and after a manipulation with minimal abnormal forces.
Most AT’s, PT’s, and OT’s are taught in school that you can achieve the same end-result on a joint, although more slowly, without achieving a cavitation, or “pop.” This is patently false and illustrates a complete lack of critical thinking about, and understanding of, neurophysiology. Tribonucleation is the physiologic process through which we experience the joint “popping” sound or cavitation. This occurs by stretching the joint capsule quickly enough to increase its internal volume without capsular accommodation. When you increase the volume of a container enclosing a liquid, like a joint capsule, the pressure inside the capsule drops. Decreased pressure on enclosed fluid (synovial fluid) allows molecules dissolved in said fluid to move around more, making them less soluble. So, by eliciting tribonucleation of the joint capsule we hear a “pop,” which is gas, most likely carbon dioxide and nitrogen, going from dissolved in fluid, to actual gas floating around above the fluid, inside the joint capsule. This is like sticking a ball pump needle into the capsule and pumping it up a few times, creating intracapsular joint distraction. It is so cool that we can now see this with real-time imaging!
This tension on the joint capsule from an air bubble forming inside the capsule stimulates a mechanotransducive neurophysiologic response, inhibiting soft tissue tonicity and tightness, while inducing endogenous opioid release, like beta-endorphin from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It also regulates and reduces pro-inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), and pro-inflammatory pathways, such as the Nrf2 pathway. Many of these mechanisms of action mimic, compliment, and amplify those of dry needling, creating a powerful synergy.
When dealing with high-level athletes, especially those making millions of dollars, it is baffling that 100% of pro sports teams do not have numerous practitioners who can skillfully needle and manipulate. They must be able to perform both. Utilizing different practitioners to perform each process is dreadfully less effective. You simply cannot treat properly if you rely on another person to do half the job, a job you can perform. This leads to disjointed and suboptimal treatment. Dry needling and joint manipulation, when conjoined and implemented thoughtfully, are the two most powerful treatments we have to rapidly and effectively regulate neuromusculoskeletal function to allow for maximal athletic performance, mental and physical. Since these treatments have such potent homeostatic effects on the ANS, significant improvements in mental function are consistently induced, leading to amplified physical performance.
All high-level athletic teams should have full-time staff who excel at both dry needling and manipulation and understand how to use them to specifically target the ANS. Otherwise, facilitation of athletic performance to the highest potential is not attainable.
Thanks for reading. If you work for a university or athletic team or anywhere else and would like to host a course in these subject areas, let us know and we will get something squared away. Let me know if anyone has any questions about anything. We teach 4 dry needling and 3 manipulation classes and offer 3 unique certifications, including our 7-course Intricate Art Manual Therapy Certification (IAMTC). Talk to you soon.
For 9 paid students, the host receives 1 free spot and for 15 paying students the host receives an additional free spot for a total of 2 free spots.
DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog for Intricate Art Spine & Body Solutions, LLC is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. The information contained in this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Please consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare professional before acting on any information presented here.