When that Pain Just Won’t Go Away
I realized this morning, as I was preparing to write this column, that I have been writing about the Hospital Happenings for over 18 years! When Steve Woody, the Montrose Daily Press editor at the time, stopped by my office and said “MMH is such an important part of our community, would you be willing to write a column about all of the amazing people and things you do,” I immediately replied “yes” – and then said to myself “what have you done?” I am blessed that there is always something or someone to write about.
Functional or Trigger Point Dry Needling is the topic for today. I am speaking as a patient and strong advocate for this procedure! I have been experiencing pain and decreased motion in my upper back/scapula area for several months, probably due to sitting too much at work, not enough exercise and the biggest of all stress. It has caused the muscles to tighten and spasm to an uncomfortable level. My physician ordered some muscle relaxants, which helped me sleep – but I didn’t like the way it made me feel, so we agreed to try some physical therapy.
I started with Kolten Tea, DPT at Mountain View Therapy at MMH three weeks ago. You know you’re getting older when the amazing therapist who is working with you, used to play high school soccer with your son. After reviewing my history and assessing my pain location, Kolten started me on a regiment of exercises- that he assured me wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes a day, reminded me how important 15 minutes of exercise a day is to get your blood flowing and recommended Functional Dry Needling.
Dry needling is an intramuscular treatment that uses needles to relieve pain and speed up the recovery process. Kolten explained that during dry needling, a thin needle is inserted into trigger points, painful knots in muscles and tight bands of muscle. The muscles contract and release, thereby relieving tightness, decreasing pain and discomfort. It was hard for me to believe that having a needle placed in my tight and hurting muscle would get rid of the pain – however, it definitely worked! Dry needling is not acupuncture – it’s purpose is not to alter the flow of energy. It is a modern, evidence-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in your muscles.
Three physical therapists at Mountain View Therapy are specially trained in dry needling and it is within their scope of practice in the state of Colorado. To perform this service, they must first practice for at least two years as a licensed Physical Therapist and have successfully completed a dry needling certification that consists of a minimum of 46 hours of in-person dry needling training. As a patient, I was informed of the risks and benefits of the procedure and what I should expect before, during and after. I’m a bit sore after the muscles are worked, but it’s similar to the soreness you feel after a good workout soreness.
After my first treatment, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt lighter and movement was easier. In conjunction with my home exercised, after my third treatment, my pain is almost gone. I’m excited to enjoy the holidays with my family without the nagging ache. If you would like more information, please call 970.240.7369
Leann Tobin, Senior Director of Community Engagement, MMH 240-7344