Dry Needling Rulings

Oregon

Is Dry Needling Legal in Oregon?
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  • In July 2009, the Oregon Board of Physical Therapy approved dry needling, but was immediately challenged by the Medical Board of Oregon and its Acupuncture Committee, “who voted that dry needling is the practice of acupuncture.” In response, the PT Board issued a statement that “upon further discussion and consideration, the Physical Therapy Licensing Board believes that the dry needling of trigger points is likely within the physical therapist scope of practice (excluding PTAs). The Board acknowledges that the dry needling of trigger points is an advanced intervention requiring post physical therapy graduate training and education.”The PT Board concluded its statement with “in the interest of public safety, until specific training and education parameters can be determined, the Board strongly advises its licensees to not perform dry needling of trigger points at this time”.
  • In May 2011, the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners approved dry needling for Oregon chiropractic physicians.
  • In July 2011, the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine filed a Petition for a Judicial Review with the Court of Appeals in Oregon, which lead to the decision of the Oregon Appeals Court Commissioner to stay the dry needling rule. The Oregon Chiropractic Board shared that “Chiropractic physicians who have been certified (by the OBCE) should cease all practice of dry needling. The OBCE may not certify any new chiropractic physicians during the period of the Stay. […..] The OBCE’s dry needling rule is no longer in effect pending a full proceeding and argument before the Oregon Court of Appeals. This could be a lengthy process that could take up to a year”.
  • On July 17, 2013, the Court of Appeals of the State of Oregon concluded that dry needling is not within the practice of chiropractic in Oregon. This ruling did not implicate dry needling by physical therapists in Oregon.
  • On May 17, 2017, the Attorney General of Oregon issued a statement that dry needling is not within the scope of practice of a physical therapist licensed in Oregon.