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Program Overview

During the ODN-2 course, emphasis is placed on the scientific basis of myofascial pain, and trigger point dry needling in the head, face, neck and shoulder region. Participants will continue with multiple practical sessions of dry needling of trigger points in the orofacial muscles including the occipito-frontalis, corrugator, procerus, zygomaticus, medial and lateral pterygoid, anterior and posterior digastric, and longus colli muscles. In addition, students will fine tune dry needling techniques of the muscles covered in the ODN-1 course. Theoretical lectures include topics including whiplash-associated disorders, hypermobility (i.e., Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), peripheral and central sensitization.


Completion of the ODN-1 course.

Eligibility Requirements

The course is designed for physical therapists, dentists, physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and chiropractors. All participants are expected to participate in the hands-on portions of the courses. Entry-level physical therapy students are not eligible for the dry needling courses, but dental residents and physical therapy residents are welcome to attend.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles of peripheral and central sensitization
  • Identify select muscles of the head, face, neck and shoulder by surface anatomy and by function
  • Identify the features of the trigger point by physical examination and apply this knowledge to individual muscles in the head, face, neck, and shoulder regions
  • Perform muscle and region-specific manual therapy treatments to inactivate myofascial trigger points and restore movement patterns and posture, integrating various treatment techniques including dry needling and manual trigger point therapy
  • Understand the basic principles of dry needling and trigger point injections
  • Understand the clinical implications of whiplash-related injuries, especially following low-speed crashes
  • Understand the clinical implications of hypermobility syndromes, including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.


Note: Actual times may vary with each program at the discretion of the instructor. Coffee breaks are provided; meals are on your own.

Day 1 7:30–8:00 Registration
8:00–9:00 Lecture – Introduction to dry needling – Rules of needling –
OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen Standard
9:00–10:30 Practicum – Review of dry needling techniques – trapezius muscle
10:30–10:45 Coffee/tea break
10:45–12:30 Practicum – Masseter (superficial and deep) and temporalis muscles
12:30–1:30 Lunch break
1:30–2:30 Practicum – sternocleidomastoid muscle
2:30–3:00 Practicum – occipito-frontalis, corrugator and procerus muscles I
3:00–3:15 Coffee/tea break
3:15–4:00 Practicum – occipito-frontalis, corrugator and procerus muscles II
4:00–5:00 Lecture – peripheral and central sensitization
Day 2 8:00–10:00 Practicum – medial and lateral pterygoid muscles
10:00–10:15 Coffee/tea break
10:15–11:30 Practicum – zygomaticus and digastric muscles
11:30–12:30 Lecture – forward head posture
12:30–1:30 Lunch break
1:30–3:00 Practicum – longus colli muscle
3:00–3:15 Coffee/tea break
3:15–4:15 Practicum – review of muscles covered in the ODN-1 course
4:15–5:00 Lecture – whiplash-associated disorders


The course program consists of three 2-day courses, which must be attended in order.

ODN-I:  The Neck
ODN-2:  The Head and Face
ODN-3:  Clinical Integration and Certification Examinations