Due to new legislation signed into law on April 1, dry needling is now included in the scope of practice for licensed physical therapists (PTs) in Utah. Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed the legislation into law. According to a news release from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the change was initiated after a December 2013 Utah attorney general opinion that dry needling was not within the legal scope of practice for PTs.
APTA president Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, states, “We are pleased that the Utah Chapter took this legislative action to ensure that physical therapists in the state are able to legally provide the full range interventions within the physical therapist scope of practice. This is a step in the right direction to ensure that all patients have access to the care they need from their physical therapists.”
As noted in the APTA news release, the Utah Chapter of APTA pushed for the legislation, and chapter president Curtis Jolley, PT, MOMT, described it as “a great team effort and win for the practice of physical therapy in the state of Utah.”
The APTA news release indicates that the new law requires PTs to meet additional education and training requirements for the intervention. The law also restricts the activity to PTs who have been licensed for 2 or more years.