As awareness increases about dry needling as a treatment for myofascial and muscular pain, and more states include it in the scope of practice, physical therapists like graduate Eric Krell, PT, DPT, Cert DN, MTC, MSKUS Cert, are integrating it into their practice.
Dr. Krell is bringing his experience with the technique to others through two Continuing Professional Education seminars offered by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Dry Needling I focuses on the cervical, scapulo-thoracic, craniofacial region, and upper extremity, and Dry Needling II focuses on the lumbo-pelvic and lower extremity. Each seminar provides 25 hours or 2.5 CEUs. Physical therapists who complete the seminars can earn certification in dry needling through a combination of practical observation and testing.
The three-day seminars provide a balance of research and application. They cover topics like safety, and review the literature on how dry needling can decrease pain and increase range of motion, which can then increase function. There is also an emphasis on demonstration and practice.
“Sticking needles in anyone is challenging even for the most experienced PT,” says Dr. Krell, who has more than 20 years of clinical experience. “With this seminar and ongoing practice, your confidence and motor skills for handling the needle will improve, as well as your clinical judgment.”
Clinical decision-making is a key component to the seminar. “Standard protocols are helpful for dry needling, but a lot of clinical judgment can get lost in those protocols,” says Dr. Krell. “To yield the best outcomes, you have to make sound clinical decisions about which patients will benefit from dry needling and how to use it as an adjunct to primary treatment like manual therapy.”
Manual therapy is what drew Dr. Krell to the university in 1999. He earned a Manual Therapy Certification and in 2003 opened his own clinic, Rocky Mountain Spine and Sport Physical Therapy, which has grown to nine locations around Denver. Recognizing the importance of quality continuing education for physical therapists, he has hosted university seminars at his clinics for nearly a decade. He also continued his own education by earning a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2011. Now he is excited to be teaching in the Continuing Professional Education program.
“I want PTs who take the seminars to have a core understanding of the science of dry needling and a solid foundation in the technique so that they can integrate it into their practice and work toward mastering it for the benefit of their patients.”
Dry Needling I Seminars
- January 12-14 in Austin
- February 9-11 in Las Vegas
- March 16-18 in Denver
- May 4-6 in Atlanta
- June 15-17 in Milwaukee
Dry Needling II Seminars
- April 20-22 in Austin
- July 13-15 in Las Vegas
- September 21-23 in Denver
- October 26-28 in Atlanta
- November 2-4 in Milwaukee