Getting The Point: A Look At Dry Needling

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With the winter months upon us, that's cut down on a lot of those outdoor races and fitness events.  And if you're someone who is still nursing a summer strain or muscle tear from a past event, a little known alternative treatment called "dry needling" may be able to help.   Some patients have turned to the treatment to help with the migraines as well.

Ryan Leckey takes a closer look at the practice today on Newswatch 16.

For more information on Impact Physio in the Clarks Summit area and physical therapist John Salva who performs dry needling, head here!

Dry needling falls under the scope of practice under the American Physical Therapy Association. To read more, click here.   However, Pennsylvania does not include dry needling in the scope of standard physical therapy.  But, some PT’s like John Salva still choose to do the procedure in conjunction with other treatments.



  • Christie S

    The American Physical Therapy Association is an association. The do not make it legal to perform techniques. The Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy is the official regulating body for PTs in PA and they have not approved DN in the scope of practice. Why are you doing this story? Have you investigated his training for Dry Needling? The website states he completed 4 courses in Trigger Point Dry Needling, but I don’t see where they are on his posted resume. What courses did he take? How many hours were included in this training? What regulating body certifies courses and instructors? This technique involves placing a needle (30-50mm long) over blood vessels and organs. There is a potential for injury to vital organs. Pneumothorax (lung collapse) is an adverse advent reported with needling.

  • Anony Mous

    What kind of awful journalism is this? And why does this PT think he’s above the law? Do you realize his malpractice won’t cover a patient injury if his needles clip a nerve or artery, or lung? Since he is practicing an invasive medicine that is not in his scope of practice BY LAW, he is not covered! Will your next article be on this PT doing heart transplants?

  • SJ

    It is not in the scope of practice for PTs to treat internal conditions such as migraines, allergies, digestion, etc. This is acupuncture. Dry needling is what acupuncturists call “Ashi” or trigger point treatment. Acupuncture can treat physical, internal, and even emotional issues. That needle was inserted too deeply into that patient’s neck to be safe. Acupuncturists do not only stick to traditional point locations seen on the charts. Essentially anywhere on the body can be an acupoint and used to treat. What the PT says in the video is uninformed and false. Please do a story with a Licensed acupuncturist who can legally practice acupuncture/dry needling in PA and encourage your audience to visit them.

  • MM

    Wow. Wouldn’t it be better to perhaps do an article on ACUPUNCTURE and the LEGAL and trained and certified and LICENSED providers who practice this incredible medicine instead of a PT who is BREAKING THE LAW. I hope he faces the penalties after being profiled here. SHAME ON YOU.

  • S Heiber

    it’s illegal for a PT to do dry needling in PA. If he wants to practice ‘dry needling’ or acupuncture, then he needs to go to acupuncture school, study for 2000+ hours, take the board exams, and get licensed under the state medical board. The minimal training given to PTs in ‘dry needling’ is not enough (27-56 hours) to ensure safety and have a bigger understanding of how treatment affects the entire system, not just the musculoskeletal system. This method can be helpful to people with musculoskeletal issues, but it’s safer to go to a Licensed Acupuncturist who is fully trained in diagnostics, needle techniques, and needle depth safety.

  • Charles Illingworth

    While looking at the education of the physical therapist in question (John Salva, MPT, CSCS), I can’t help but notice that he has taken multiple trigger point dry needling courses. It is always bolstering to find someone who is so willing to continue their education into areas of interest, but as a student acupuncturist, I find it concerning that Mr. Salva is operating outside of his scope of practice and within the domain of my future scope while not having obtained the education required by law within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I do hope that if Mr. Salva wishes to continue utilizing dry needling as a therapeutic option for his patients, that he will pursue the proper education pursuant to the definition of acupuncture as set forward by the Commonwealth.

  • Jeffrey Byers, MD

    Ryan, given that this is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania, do you plan on following up this puff piece with actual investigative journalism? Hopefully the medical board investigates this further and forces this so called provider to cease this practice or take his PT license away.

  • BJ Putnam

    “However, Pennsylvania does not include dry needling in the scope of standard physical therapy.” In Pennsylvania, Dry Needling by anyone other than a licensed acupuncturist is illegal.

  • Adam S.

    So just to clarify, you are reporting on a therapy that is being practiced illegally in this state because it is not in PT scope of practice. And you are suggesting that people seek out this therapy that is illegal in PA, great journalism!

Comments are closed.

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