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Sun, Sep 22



OT Level 2: Expert Level Dry Needling for the UPPER EXTREMITY Only - ONE DAY

OT Level 2: Expert Level Dry Needling for the UPPER EXTREMITY Only - ONE DAY
OT Level 2: Expert Level Dry Needling for the UPPER EXTREMITY Only - ONE DAY

Time & Location

Sep 22, 2024, 7:30 AM – Sep 23, 2024, 5:30 PM

Onalaska, Dynamic Performance and Therapy, 1430 Main St, Onalaska, WI 54650, USA

About the event


Participants are required to successfully complete SPTE’s Introduction to Dry Needling for the Upper Extremity -Level I course or have completed another level I dry needling course. SPTE will review the previous educator’s content to determine SPTE Level 2 qualification. Please contact SPTE at with any questions prior to signing up for our Level 2 course.


Course Description 

This Dry Needling (DN) – Hybrid Level 2 course is designed to further develop and reinforce the use of specific examination and treatment skills that facilitate the reduction of pain and dysfunction in patients with general neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Instruction focuses on the use of dry needling (DN) techniques using solid filament needles directed at select soft tissue impairments and nerve paths in the upper extremity and spine. Using a Case based teaching approach, this course builds on our Level 1 course with more anatomically sensitive treatment areas as well clinical integration into a variety of patient cases. Participants will further investigate the emerging evidence of treatment effectiveness, proposed mechanisms of action, and the legal and safety considerations surrounding the use of dry needling.

Approach   This course is delivered in a lecture and lab-based format, combining pre-course readings, viewings and on-site learning experiences to facilitate participant learning. Pre-course readings and viewings are provided to participants 14 days in advance of an intensive on-site laboratory training session.  Pre-course readings will include a post assessment evaluation prior to onsite training to ensure universal basic knowledge of safe and effective techniques. On-site objectives will reinforce pre-course materials and investigate the therapeutic effects, mechanisms, safety and legal issues involved with dry needling.  A 1-day onsite lab intensive schedule is designed to satisfy the training requirements of most state practice acts (Participants are responsible for knowing their practice act requirements).  Our course format focuses first in understanding safe utilization of the needle complimented next by building clinician confidence in appropriately applying the needle into practice.  All participants will receive hands-on demonstration and practice of selected DN techniques. Discussion will include the integration of DN techniques into an overall treatment regimen that includes the use of manual interventions (manual and optional tool assisted soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization/manipulation, and manual stretching) and exercise.  The course will have a student to faculty ratio of no greater than 12:1. An on-site skill assessment is used to reinforce course objectives and assess skill acquisition/competency.

 Method of Assessing Participant Learning 

Following the completion of the pre-course materials, the participants will be given a written multiple-choice quiz which will require a passing score of 80% to be admitted to the hands-on course. This onsite course will be successfully completed with participants exhibiting competency during live skills checks in a laboratory setting throughout the course. Time will be devoted to allow for 1:1 technique observation and a formal skills check will be completed for each muscle instructed. Participants will be required to identify safety parameters, contraindications, and demonstrate the technique using their partner’s muscle and the instructor will assess their ability to safely perform dry needling at each muscle.

 Method for Verification of Attendance 

Participants will be required to sign-in and out on an attendance sheet for both days of this course.

Target Audience:

Licensed Physical and Occupational Therapists and other Medical/Allied health Care providers who meet required Intermediate level course.


12 contact hours (9 hours for 1-day onsite lecture/laboratory session)

Appropriate dress:

Participants are asked to bring appropriate attire for lab sessions (i.e. Shirts and sports bras for women) and air-conditioned environments throughout the day (i.e. warm-up or work-out clothes).


Participants are required to successfully complete SPTE’s Introduction to Dry Needling for the Upper Extremity -Level I course or have completed another level I dry needling course. 

Objectives   Upon completing this course, you'll be able to:

1. Discuss the ability and appropriateness of physical and occupational therapists in providing trigger point dry needling to patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Review the APTA, AAOMPT, and state board position statements regarding this intervention.

2. Review and define the concept of trigger points and their contribution to myofascial pain syndromes.

3. Compare and contrast the differences in acupuncture and dry needling in terms of eastern vs. western treatment philosophies, needling technique, and goals of intervention.

4. Discuss the evidence surrounding the proposed mechanisms of action, treatment effectiveness, and relative safety for DN.

5. Perform and develop proficiency/competency in using safe and appropriate application of DN.

6. Demonstrate the appropriate integration of DN into a comprehensive treatment plan for patients with lower/upper extremity dysfunction that may include joint mobilization/manipulation, manual and tool assisted soft tissue mobilization, manual stretching, and therapeutic exercise.

7. Demonstrate appropriate safety precautions and articulate legal issues regarding DN.

 Instructor Biography: 

Dr. Josh Bruner, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS is currently a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and holds a certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He’s a full-time physical therapist at The Orthopedic Institute at Southwest Health in Platteville, WI. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2014 and completed an orthopedic residency with Specialized Physical Therapy Education (SPTE) in 2017. Since completing the residency training, Dr. Bruner has been a clinical mentor for the program as well as a guest lecturer for a Physical Therapy Assistance program. He’s also been an instructor for several continuing education courses varying from dry needling to the management of various physical therapy disorders. Outside of the residency program, he has received additional training in analyzing and treating movement impairments as a certified performance specialist and implementing sports performance programs for high school and collegiate athletes. Prior to the physical therapy profession, Dr. Bruner spent time working as a strength and conditioning coach for Auburn University’s football program.

 TDN – Hybrid Level 2 Course Schedule: Prior to Course (Est completion time of 3 hours): 

· Complete Pre-Reading and Presentation Assignments provided on Moodle Learning Platform

· Complete Online Quiz at least 24 hours in advance of onsite course.

      o Participants must achieve >80% to be able to attend Live Course instruction.

**NOTE: Skill Assessments are performed during each region

Day 1 (9 hours)

7:30 Registration

8:00 Orientation;   Introductions; Course Expectations

8:30 Safe Needling procedures and technique variations review

9:00 Break

9:15 CASE: Rotator Cuff Syndrome Patient

9:45- Long Head/Short Head of Biceps, Coracobrachialis

10:30 - Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Subscapularis

11:00 - Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Supraspinatus

11:30 - Lunch

12:00 - Treating Tendinopathies Review

12:30 - CASE: Lateral Epicondylagia

12:45 - Pronator Teres, Brachialis

1:15 - Supinator,  Tendon Pecking

1:30 - Round Robin – Morning Check Offs

2:30 - Break

2:45 - CASE: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome /   Brachialgia

3:15 - Scapulothoracic muscles:  Low / Mid trap, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids,

4:15 - Hand interossei / Opponens Pollicus

4:30 - UE Nerve Pathway

5:00 - Round Robin – Afternoon Check Offs

5:30 - End of Course


  • OT Level 2 Dry Needling




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