Dry Needling for Physiotherapists

Subject PHTY90053 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours lectures and workshops
Total Time Commitment:

Approximately 72 hours of self-directed learning is recommended for this subject.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:



Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188
E: physio-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au
W: www.physioth.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject exposes students to the historical, philosophical and neurophysiological basis of acupuncture, dry needling, and concepts of Chinese Medicine Theory. It defines acupuncture points and the relationship between acupuncture points and muscle trigger points. It reviews the research based indications, precautions and contraindications of dry needling in the management of common musculoskeletal conditions and what conditions may respond to dry needling. Students will be given the opportunity to learn techniques required to apply dry needling treatment. Treatment progression to electro-stimulation, neuromuscular stimulation and the use of press needles will be demonstrated.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject aims to provide students with:

• Knowledge and skills relating to the use of dry needling as a treatment

• Knowledge of safety issues associated with the use of dry needling as a treatment

• The skills of needling and the clinical application of particular techniques.

• An understanding of the neurophysiological basis for the use of dry needling in musculoskeletal conditions

• Appreciation of the role of dry needling in conjunction with traditional western medicine of the team approach to patient management.


Written examination 2 hours (40%), practical examination 30mins (40%), mid-semester presentation 20mins (20%).

Prescribed Texts:
  • Baldry P E (2005) Acupuncture, Trigger Points and Musculoskeletal Pain, 3rd ed. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • An appreciation of considering a diversity of approaches to problem solving
  • A greater understanding of cultural approaches to clinical management

Links to further information: http://www.physioth.unimelb.edu.au/programs/pgrad/index.html
Related Course(s): Master of Physiotherapy

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