Category Archives: Manual Therapy

dry needling physical therapist

What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?

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TRIGGER POINT DRY NEEDLING uses small, thin needles to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of many orthopedic conditions, both acute and chronic. Physical therapists use dry needling as a safe, effective, and efficient treatment technique to release painful hyper-irritable spots within a band of skeletal muscle. By inserting a needle into the dysfunctional tissue, it often leads to a contraction of the muscle which then stimulates a release. This leads to a reduction of pain, improvements in flexibility and a restoration of normalized movement when combined with corrective exercises.

WHAT IS A MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT?
A myofascial trigger point is a hyperirritable spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle that produces local or referred pain. The trigger point can lead to increased pain, decreased flexibility and decreased muscle function if not treated. Trigger point dry needling is a safe, effective and efficient treatment technique to release these painful spots.

WHAT TYPE OF PROBLEMS CAN BE TREATED?

Muscle dysfunction can be the primary or secondary contributing factor to many neuromusculoskeletal conditions, which can include:

•  Repetitive Stress Injuries
•  Tendonitis or Tendinopathy
•  Muscle Strains
•  IT Band Syndrome
•  Patellofemoral Dysfunction
•  Plantar Fasciitis
•  Neck Pain or Headaches
•  Rotator Cuff Impingement
•  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
•  SI Joint Dysfunction
•  Sciatica

Dry needling

This treatment is NOT acupuncture. Modern dry needling is based on Western neuroanatomy and modern scientifi c study of the muscles and nervous system. This modality can only be done by trained clinicians.

If you are interested in Trigger Point Dry Needling, find a physical therapist near you and ask for more information.

McKenzie Method

McKenzie Method: Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment

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The McKenzie Method is a philosophy of active patient involvement and education that is trusted and used by practitioners and patients all over the world for back, neck and extremity problems.

McKenzie Method – Three Steps to Success:

1. A logical step-by-step process to evaluate the patient’s problem quickly. This mechanical examination can “classify” most patient conditions by the level of pain or limitation that results from certain movements or positions. A McKenzie assessment can eliminate the need for expensive and/or invasive procedures.

2. McKenzie treatment prescribes a series of individualized exercises. The emphasis is on active patient involvement, which minimizes the number of visits to the clinic. For patients with more difficult mechanical problems, a certified McKenzie clinician can provide advanced hands-on techniques until the patient can self administer.

3. By learning how to self-treat the current problem, patients gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and to rapidly deal with recurrence if it occurs. The likelihood of problems persisting can more likely be prevented through self-maintenance.

dry needling physical therapist

Trigger Point Dry Needling

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Dry needling uses small, thin needles to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of many orthopedic conditions, both acute and chronic. By inserting a needle into the dysfunctional tissue, it often leads to a contraction of the muscle which then stimulates a relaxation. This leads to a reduction of pain, improvements in flexibility and a restoration of normalized movement when combined with corrective exercises.

WHAT IS A MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT?
A myofascial trigger point is a hyperirritable spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle that produces local or referred pain. The trigger point can lead to increased pain, decreased flexibility and decreased muscle function if not treated. Trigger point dry needling is a safe, effective and efficient treatment technique to release these painful spots.

dry needling

WHAT TYPE OF PROBLEMS CAN BE TREATED?
Muscle dysfunction can be the primary or secondary contributing factor to many neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• Dry needling must be specifically prescribed by a physician.
• Dry needling is not covered by insurance, it is a cash based modality.

This information was written by The Jackson Clinics, a locally owned physical therapy practice in multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia. They specialize in outpatient orthopedics and sports rehabilitation. Their therapists and assistants possess advanced clinical skills in spinal disorders, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and peripheral joint problems, including rotator cuff injuries, knee injuries and foot and ankle pain. They also also have specialty programs in breast cancer rehab, vestibular rehab, pediatrics, post-cancer rehab, aquatic therapy and women’s health. For more information click here.

McKenzie Method

McKenzie Method: Diagnosis & Treatment

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MECHANICAL DIAGNOSIS PHASE:
This system is based on the symptomatic and mechanical responses of patients to various repeated movements or static loading forces(that is a mechanical evaluation). It allows the classification of patients into broad, rather than tissue-specific, categories and thus leads to the formulation of treatment. Rather than seeking to make a diagnosis, which is the identification of a disease by the means of its signs and symptoms, The McKenzie system concentrates on syndrome identification. A syndrome is a characteristic group of symptoms and pattern responses characteristic of a particular problem. The system is now widely used to classify and treat patients with mechanical disorders.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION PHASE:
• Explanation of problem to patient and reason for required exercise program
• Time scale
• The appropriate loading strategy, or strategies needed to manage the condition demonstrated to and practiced by the patient.
• The repetitions and regularity of exercise program explained to patient
• The expected pain response explained to patient

knee stretch

ASSESMENT PHASE:
• Symptomatic diagnosis
• Mechanical Diagnosis

PATIENT MANAGEMENT PHASE:
• Patient education component of management
• Information about the problem itself
• What patients can do to help themselves
• Information about tests, diagnosis and interventions
• Active Mechanical Therapy component:
• The specific exercises should be demonstrated to the patients, they should practice these, the expected pain response should be explained, as well as any warnings against lasting aggravation of their condition and as necessary progressions and alterations should be given.

This information was written by Hamilton Physical Therapy Services, L.P., an outpatient physical therapy group with five locations in Mercer County, New Jersey since 1978. Their modern state-of-the-art facilities are equipped to offer patients an excellent opportunity to reach their optimal functional abilities. Managed and operated by physical therapists mandates that patient care is our number one priority. For more information click here.

ASTYM therapy

What is the ASTYM Therapy?

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ASTYM therapy

The ASTYM System is a therapy approach that addresses problems such as scarring, fibrosis, and degeneration that occur in soft tissues. These problems may develop as the result of trauma, surgery or overuse. The System is effective for new injuries as well as chronic, nagging conditions.

The ASTYM System uses instruments along the surface of the skin to locate these problem areas and start the body’s healing process. As the body heals, exercise and activity help guide the healing which allows you to return to activities without pain and limitation. The success of the ASTYM System is documented for a wide variety of diagnoses and many times it helps patients where other treatments have failed. The ASTYM System is used in settings ranging from therapy clinics to hospitals to industrial rehabilitation. This proven treatment helps countless patients every day.

Is This New?
The ASTYM System has been used in clinics by rehabilitation professionals since 1996. Thomas L. Sevier, MD, guided the clinical, scientific and outcomes research used to develop the System and document its remarkable effectiveness.

What Can You Expect?
• Clinicians certified in the ASTYM System will use the instruments to treat not only painful areas but also other problem areas that may contribute to your condition.
• During treatment, you may feel areas that are “rough” or “bumpy.” These are the areas that need to be addressed.
• Over the course of treatment, you will notice that as these rough areas smooth out, your pain will decrease and your function will increase.
• Following treatment, you may notice some bruising and soreness to touch in areas that were rough. This shows that the body is addressing the abnormal tissue through the natural healing process.
• You will receive a custom-designed stretching and exercise program to help your body rebuild healthy tissue and allow you to return to an active lifestyle.
• Most patients experience a significant change in their symptoms in the first 3-4 visits.

What’s Different About the ASTYM System?
• It demonstrates success when other approaches have failed.
• It often decreases the need for surgical intervention.
• It provides maximum results with a minimum number of treatments.
• It has high patient compliance.
• It often enables patients to stay on their job or stay in their sport.
• It is supported by scientific research, substantial clinical experience, and an extensive outcomes database.

Diagnoses that Respond Well to the ASTYM System

Patients who are experiencing pain, loss of motion and/or loss of function following surgery, injury, cumulative trauma disorders, and chronic irritation/tendinitis often benefit from the ASTYM System. Some of the clinical diagnoses which have responded well to this treatment are:

• Trigger finger
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Lateral epicondylitis
• Medial epicondylitis
• DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
• Wrist sprains
• Shoulder pain
• Plantar fasciitis
• Chronic ankle sprains
• Achilles tendinitis
• Shin splints
• Patellar tendinitis
• Hamstring strains
• IT band syndrome
• Post-surgical scarring
• Post-surgical fibrosis
• Hip pain/trochanteric bursitis
• SI and low back pain
• Most forms of chronic tendinopathies
• Soft tissue changes associated with degenerative arthritis

tennis

HOME INSTRUCTIONS
Stretching
• Perform the stretches you have been taught at least 4 times per day.
• Stretch before and after aggravating activities and when you hurt.
• Hold your stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds.
• Stretch to the point of pull but not pain.

Activity
• Be as active as possible unless your physician instructs you otherwise. Let pain be your guide.
• If your injury has prevented your participation in certain activities, work your way back into them as your pain allows.

Icing
• You may occasionally ice for 15-20 minutes at a time if you are uncomfortable.
• Ice before bed if you have discomfort that disrupts your sleep.
• Place a damp washcloth between your skin and the ice.

Hydration
• Proper hydration is important in the healing process.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day.