Dry Needling for Physiotherapists

Subject PHTY90053 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 04-Jul-2016 to 08-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 26-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Jul-2016
Census Date 05-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 07-Oct-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
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:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Mr David Kelly



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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