The Equine Dry Needling (EQ-DN) course is designed for veterinarians, physical therapists, and chiropractors with an interest in equine myofascial pain management. This course will introduce health professionals to the management of equine myofascial pain using dry needling therapies. The EQ-DN course includes the management of 20 equine muscles. Future advanced level equine dry needling courses will expand upon the treatment options dependent upon interest.
NOTE: In the US and Canada, physical therapists may not be able to use equine dry needling without a veterinarian. Please check your state laws and regulations before using equine dry needling in clinical practice.
The class size is limited to 20 students.
Application pending with the American Association of Veterinary State Boards RACE committee.
Physical Therapists receive a $200 discount. Please check the box at checkout confirming that you are a physical therapist. We may ask for verification.
Participants should dress casually and comfortably. Proper shoes are recommended. Although this is an equine course program, course participants will practice a few basic dry needling treatment techniques on each other prior to working with the horses.
At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
- Describe all studied muscles in the course: origin and insertion, innervation, function, and dry needling precautions
- Describe three aspects of the contribution of myofascial trigger points to soft tissue pain and dysfunction
- Describe the key components of the Integrated Trigger Point Hypothesis
- Demonstrate proper identification of all the muscles studied in the course
- Demonstrate high standards of palpation of the muscles studied in the course: applicable to most soft tissue abnormalities
- Demonstrate proper identification of the three key features of a trigger point
- Describe three basic principles (technique, indications/contraindications, hygiene and safety) of dry needling
- Demonstrate safe and accurate dry needling of each included muscle
This is a 3-day course starting each day at 8:00 am until 5:30 pm. This course includes theoretical classes and practical sessions with horses. Each day will have two 15-minute Q&A sessions and one hour for lunch.
Note: Actual times may vary with each program at the discretion of the instructors. Coffee breaks are provided; meals are on your own.
Day 1 - Introduction to Myofascial Pain
8:00-8:30 Lecture: Introduction to Myofascial Pain
8:30-9:00 Lecture: The Integrated Trigger Point Hypothesis
9:00-9:30 Lecture: Etiology, clinical aspects, and diagnosis
9:30-10:00 Lecture: Treatment
10:00-10:15 Questions & Answers
10:15-10:45 Lecture: Palpation techniques: Identification of taut bands, TrPs, and pain
10:45-11:15 Lecture: Description of the technique; Indications and contraindications
11:15-11:45 Lecture: Rules, hygiene, and safety
11:45-12:15 Lab: Practice of Dry Needling in participants
01:15-05:00 Lecture: Anatomy and Dry Needling technique of the Neck
Day 2 - Introduction to Equine Myofascial Pain
8:00-8:30 Lecture: Biomechanics and TrPs
8:30-9:00 Lecture: Pain measurements in horses
9:00-9:15 Questions & Answers
Dry Needling of the back
9:15-12:15 Lecture: Anatomy and Dry Needling technique of the back
Erector spinae group
01:15-05:30 Lecture: Anatomy and Dry Needling technique of the forelimb
Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
Extensor Carpi Radialis
Day 3 - Dry needling of the hindlimb
8:00-12:15 Lecture: Anatomy and Dry Needling technique of the hindlimb
Tensor fasciae latae
01:15-01:45 Exam: Theory
01:45-04:45 Exam: Practice
04:45-05:30 Summary and Conclusion
There are no required textbooks for this course, but we recommend
Dommerholt, J & Fernández De Las Peñas, C 2018. Trigger point dry needling; an evidenced and clinical-based approach. Edinburgh, Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. Available at checkout.
Pauli Gronberg 2015. ABC of the Horse Atlas. 6th edition. Otava Book Printing Ltd.
Who Should Attend
Familiarity with or a strong interest in equine therapy is required.