Dry Needling Rulings


Is Dry Needling Legal in Tennessee?
Attorney General Opinion – Tennessee
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  • In 2001, the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy ruled that dry needling was not in the scope of physical therapy practice.
  • In August 2011, the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy reversed its 2002 decision and approved dry needling by physical therapists.
  • On June 19, 2014, the Tennessee Attorney General issued a legal opinion that dry needling is not in the scope of physical therapy practice in the state of Tennessee. The Attorney General suggested that a change in legislation would be required.
  • On March 16, 2015, the House of Tennessee passed House Bill 25, which cleared the way for physical therapists in TN to start using dry needling again in clinical practice. The bill also clarifies that the Physical Therapy board will be required to establish minimum competency requirements for a physical therapist to practice dry needling. The bill also redefined “dry needling” to clarify that the practice is for the management, instead of evaluation and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, and movement impairments.
  • On March 23, 2015, the Senate of Tennessee passed the legislation.
  • On April 9, 2015, Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law effective July 1, 2015.