Dry Needling Courses

The Most Important Topics in a Nutshell

The Dry Needling courses are intended for physiotherapists, medical doctors and chiropractors. We have been offering Dry Needling courses since 1995. They have now become internationally known. We initially developed the way we teach Dry Needling in the early 1990s. Since that time we have continuously refined and improved our approach. Our practical oriented Dry Needling courses will provide step by step guidance on the proper and safe use of various Dry Needling techniques. The Dry Needling courses offered by the DGSA recognize and respect the internationally recognized Swiss Guidelines For Safe Dry Needling, published by the Dry Needling Association Switzerland, DVS. The detailed knowledge of three-dimensional topographic anatomy is systematically put into practice. Participants are taught to emphasize and practice the use of anatomical landmarks, the potential danger zones and the correct selection of the needle in order to guarantee a safe Dry Needling technique. Participants practice Dry Needlingg under close supervision. Theoretical training includes pathophysiology, etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, clinical practice of myofascial trigger points, and myofascial dysfunctions and pain syndromes, as well as safety, indications, contraindications, and the hygiene rules of hygiene of Dry Needling. You will also gain an insight into evidence based practice in the fields of Dry Needling and myofascial pain. In the self-study part participants are guided to independently learn the treatment techniques for muscles that are rarely affected in clinical practice or that are similar to the muscles discussed in previous trainings. Dry Needling is now used by thousands of physiotherapists worldwide. In many countries, it is within the professional and legal scope of physiotherapy practice. There are some countries where the relevant authorities impose specific requirements for physiotherapists to practice this technique. For example, a proof of a successful educational training (diploma) in Dry Needling is required in Switzerland. Although each course is an independent training unit and ends with a multiple-choice test, we recommend completing the entire training and graduate by taking the final exam. This will allow you to gain the DGSA Dry Needling Therapist Diploma as soon as possible and in the meantime, continuously practice in focus groups or quality circles during the training phase.

Since regulation varies by country, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the relevant regulation requirements in your country regarding Dry Needling for physiotherapists.  You should also make sure that Dry Needling is included in your professional liability insurance.

All DGSA Dry Needling courses have the Swiss EduQua quality certificate.

Top 30 DN

Prerequisites

  • The course is designed for PTs, MDs, DCs and DOs.

Duration of the Course

  • 22.5 hours

Course Contents

This three-day introductory course covers the foundations of Dry Needling, myofascial pain syndrome, trigger points and the clinical highlights of dry needling. It is a hands on course. Participants practice Dry Needling of the Top 30 muscles with each other. The DGSA Dry Needling training enables the immediate application of Dry Needling upon successful completion of the course, under the regulation of your country of practice. Please note, recognition of Dry Needling depends on the country of practice, and it is the responsibility of each graduate to follow the local regulations.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will ...

  • understand the basic scientific backgrounds of the myofascial pain syndrome and of trigger points.
  • be able to identify the Top 30 muscles by surface anatomy, palpation and function. They will also understand their clinical symptoms and perpetuating factors.
  • be able to identify the features of trigger points by physical examination and apply this knowledge to the top 30 muscles.
  • understand the specific indications and contraindications of Dry Needling.
  • have the ability to apply the safety rules for Dry Needling.
  • be able to perform Dry Needling of the top 30 muscles.
  • understand the possible side effects and complications of Dry Needling and will be able to react appropritately.

Advanced Course Upper Body DN - Upper Half of Body

Prerequisites

  • DN1 or
  • Top 30 DN or
  • Top 30 Combi
  • or equivalent courses from another course provider. Please ask the organizer of your course.

Duration of the Course

  • 15 hours

Course Contents

During this two-day advanced course participants will learn the diagnosis, physical examination and Dry Needling of the most common muscles of the upper half of the body. The course is a hands on course. Participants practice Dry Needling with each other. The DGSA Dry Needling training enables the immediate application of Dry Needling upon successful completion of the course, under the regulation of your country of practice. Please note, recognition of Dry Needling depends on the country of practice, and it is the responsibility of each graduate to follow the local regulations.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will ...

  • be able to identify the most common muscles of the upper half of the body by surface anatomy, palpation and function and understand their clinical symptoms and perpetuating factors.
  • be able to identify the features of trigger points by physical examination and apply this knowledge to the most common muscles of the upper half of the body.
  • be able to perform Dry Needling for the most common muscles of the upper half of the body.
  • have updated their knowledge about research in the field of the myofascial pain syndrome and trigger points.

Advanced Course Lower Body DN - The Lower Extremities

Prerequisites

  • DN1 or
  • Top 30 DN or
  • Top 30 Combi
  • or equivalent courses from another course provider. Please ask the organizer of your course.

Duration of the Course

  • 15 hours

Course Contents

During this two-day advanced course participants will learn the diagnosis, physical examination and Dry Needling of the most common muscles of the lower extremities. The course is a hands on course. Participants practice Dry Needling with each other. The DGSA Dry Needling training enables the immediate application of Dry Needling upon successful completion of the course, under the regulation of your country of practice. Please note, recognition of Dry Needling depends on the country of practice, and it is the responsibility of each graduate to follow the local regulations.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will ...

  • be able to identify the most common muscles of the lower extremities by surface anatomy, palpation and function and understand their clinical symptoms and perpetuating factors.
  • be able to identify the features of the trigger points by physical examination and apply this knowledge to the most common muscles of the lower extremities.
  • be able to perform Dry Needling for the most common muscles of the lower extremities.
  • have updated their knowledge about research in the field of the myofascial pain syndrome and trigger points.

Exam Preparation Course DN

Prerequisites

  • DN1 & DN2 or
  • Top 30 DN and Advanced Courses Upper Body DN and Lower Body DN or
  • Top 30 Combi and Advanced Courses Upper Body Combi and Lower Body Combi
  • or equivalent courses from another course provider. Please ask the organizer of your course.

Duration of the Course

  • 8 hours

Course Contents

The professional course DN is a one-day course. It is designed as as refresher course and is a prerequisite for the Dry Needling exam. The DGSA Dry Needling training enables the immediate application of Dry Needling upon successful completion of the course, under the regulation of your country of practice. Please note, recognition of Dry Needling depends on the country of practice, and it is the responsibility of each graduate to follow the local regulations.

Self-Study Section

The self-study section includes independent learning of additional muscles that are rarely affected in clinical practice or that are similar to the muscles discussed in previous training. In addition, paticipants are referred to relevant evidence based literature. The ratio between frontal learning hours and self-study follows the ECTS recommendations, and the self-study section is a total of 25 hours. The list of muscles learned in the self-study section can be found here.

Dry Needling Exam

The examination in Dry Needling is the completion of the Dry Needling education (Diploma). A successful completion of formal training in Dry Needling is required by the regulating authorities in some countries, such as Switzerland. The DGSA offers exams in Dry Needling. In some countries, the exam is organized by other organizations:

Exams are offered in different languages but are all equivalent in content. Details on the prerequisites and languages ​​of the exams are listed below.


Exam Dry Needling Therapist DVS

In Switzerland, the exam is offered by the Dry Needling Association Switzerland, DVS.

Languages

The exam of the DVS is offered in the following languages:
German, French and Italian

Requirements

  • The main requirement to take the exam is to be a member of the Dry Needling Association Switzerland, DVS.
  • In order to take the exam, practitioners will need to demonstrate at least 55 hours of practical training in Dry Needling.

Exam Dry Needling Therapist OMT France/ ASD

In France, the examination is offered by OMT France in cooperation with the Dry Needling Association Switzerland, DVS.

Languages

The examination of the OMT France is offered in French.

Requirements

  • Top 30 DN or Top 30 Combi and Advanced Courses Upper Body DN and Lower Body DN and Exam Preparation Course DN

Exam Dry Needling Therapist DGSA

In most other countries, the exam is offered by the DGSA

Languages

The exam is offered in the following languages:
German, English, French and Italian

Requirements

  • Top 30 DN or Top 30 Combi and Advanced Courses Upper Body DN and Lower Body DN and Exam Preparation Course DN