Last week the Student Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Association (SOMPTA), the AAOMPT sSIG at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) hosted our 4th annual dry needling course for both third year students and local clinicians. The course was taught by TTUHSC DPT Assistant Professor Gary Kearns, PT, ScD, OCS, FAAOMPT with assistance from 3 other professors in the Department of Rehab Science.
The course lasted 2 and a half days, with both lecture and lab practice. During the first day, attendees learned about the history of dry needling along with when it is appropriate and how it is a viable technique when performed safely. The second half of the day included palpation and needling techniques for the shoulder and upper arm. The second day covered the elbow, cervical, lumbar, and hip regions. With the last day being over the thigh and leg. At the conclusion of each session, attendees would gather and go over case studies in order to help apply clinical reasoning for patients that either may or may not be appropriate for dry needling.
The course was concluded with individual mini-practicals or “lab-checkouts” with one of the instructors Attendees would receive a patient case where they would discuss any pertinent information from a musculoskeletal standpoint (i.e. tissue that was involved and associated impairments), along with any precautions or contraindications the patient may have concerning needling. The final step was then to perform dry needling to the specific muscle group of interest on a mock patient in order to demonstrate proper safety, technique, and dosage.
This year has been our biggest showing of both clinicians and students, with close to 50 attendees. The money raised from this event goes towards helping run our meetings for the following academic year and also paying for student’s travel to both the AAOMPT conference and CSM conference. This past year we were able to pay for 21 students who attended the AAOMPT conference in Salt Lake City and 4 students traveling to CSM in New Orleans. With the funds raised from this year we hope to send even more students to these conferences.