Here’s how dry needling can help you avoid surgery

Myo Fit Clinic 9 Dry Needling
Adam Miller, DPT, performs dry needling on a patient’s arm to avoid carpal tunnel surgery. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Dr. Adam Cramer, PT, DPT; MyoFit Clinic

At MyoFit Clinic, we see patients whose quality of life has been put on hold while they wrestle with debilitating pain. They want to avoid surgery and instead undergo physical therapy first as a safe and effective option.

Sometimes the pain is in their shoulders, neck and back, or manifests itself with muscle spasms. Other times it appears as tendonitis, foot, hip or knee pain, muscle strains, and overuse injuries.

In treating all of these patients, we have achieved some amazing results using a physical therapy treatment known as “dry needling.”

This skilled intervention is often performed by a doctor of physical therapy, using a thin filiform needle to penetrate skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments which improves healing and activity performance.

Patients sometimes confuse dry needling with the traditional Chinese medicine known as acupuncture, which uses the same kind of needle.

But that’s where the similarity ends. Dry needling is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

Unlike acupuncture, the needles in dry needling therapy are inserted into trigger points in the body to elicit a twitch response. In essence, the needles create a beneficial inflammatory response to release the trigger point and promote healing.

How it feels for the client
When we discuss dry needling, clients often express concern that it will be painful.

Actually, it can be quite comfortable. Most of our clients cannot even tell when the needle has been inserted. When the muscle twitch response happens, they may experience some minimal discomfort, which they describe as a bit of pressure, but then the person experiences pain relief.

For most clients who have been burdened by chronic pain for a long time, it takes several treatments before they can report significant pain reduction.

To finally be rid of the pain they have shouldered for months or even years leaves them with a feeling of tremendous relief.

This treatment is very safe, cost-effective, low-risk, covered by all medical insurances and requires no referral.

Dr. Adam M. Cramer, PT, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist and the owner of MyoFit Clinics. For more information, visit Clinics are located in Middlefield,440-632-1007; Chardon, 440-286-1007; and one opening in Ashtabula November 2019.