frequently asked questions
What types of patients do you see?
I see anybody and everybody from the competitive athlete/Olympic lifter, to the person who has no interest in exercise whatsoever but has pain he/she deals with on a daily basis, to every one in between. If you are in pain, I can help, and I can get you on the right path to keep yourself out of pain in the days ahead with a corrective exercise program to address the root of your dysfunctions.
What can I expect at my first session?
At your first session, I will put you through a comprehensive movement assessment in which we will look at your ability to perform basic functional movement patterns. We will determine where you have dysfunctional movement which may be the cause of your pain or mobility issue, and we will break that down further in order to determine the root cause of your dysfunction. We will address these deficits with whatever treatment approach we deem necessary (corrective exercise, functional dry needling, manual therapy techniques, etc). We will begin to develop a treatment plan focused on you becoming pain-free and moving well. This treatment plan will include development of a corrective exercise program so that you can independently manage your movement and keep yourself out of pain and moving well. My goal is to make you not need me.
What makes you different from other physical therapists?
Most importantly, I only provide ONE-ON-ONE care - I refuse to double up clients, so your time with me is your time with me, not split time with another client.
In addition to "traditional" training done by PTs in school (which does not teach much from a clinical standpoint in all reality), I have spent the last seven years adding tools to my toolbox with advanced continuing education courses to make sure I am offering my clients the best treatment options possible. I do not want to see you in my office multiple times a week - I typically follow up with my clients once a week for a couple visits, then once every couple weeks - I want you to be an active participant in your care because this is the only way you will see long-lasting results. It is typically easy to get you out of pain quickly (there are exceptions), but my approach focuses on keeping you out of pain long-term and giving you the tools to effectively do that along the way. It may take a little longer than you're used to in order to complete a "course of PT" with me, but you will do it in far less visits and likely far less cost than a typical outpatient office.
A very effective tool I use is Functional Dry Needling (see more below) which combines trigger point dry needling with functional movement correction programs to reach the ultimate goal of pain-free movement and function. I am one of a handful of PTs in Columbus that uses this, and the only one that actively participates in CrossFit and Olympic lifting. I compete in both the CrossFit and Olympic lifting arenas at the highest levels, and I understand what you are putting your body through as an athlete - I understand the stress of the movements and most importantly, I understand the movements themselves.
In Ohio, I do not need a referral from your physician in order to start treatment with you, and I have decided to base my business on not relying on this to gain clients. In short, I rely almost entirely on word-of-mouth marketing and educating people directly on how I can help. My business is only successful if I am successful with improving your condition.
I have a very competitive nature about me, and I take it personally when my clients are not seeing the results they want to see - I make it a mission to get the results we want to see in our time together. I will follow up with you by email/text/Facebook in the days following our appointments to make sure we are on the right track with what we are working toward. I will check in on you regularly to make sure you are performing your corrective program consistently. I will not be a passive bystander in your care - I will be very active in making sure we are headed down the right path in order for you to meet your goals, and I will work my butt off to make sure you get there.
Is Functional Dry Needling the same as acupuncture?
No! Functional Dry Needling (FDN) uses a very similar needle to acupuncture; however, the process is entirely different.
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine, and it is based on an examination of the tongue and different pulse points in the body. Based upon this examination, treatment points are chosen based upon a "map" of acupuncture points throughout the body. It rarely involves the insertion of the needle into the dysfunctional muscle itself, relying more on placing the needles only in the skin along this acupuncture points. It is based largely on tradition, and methods have little to no scientific research to support its clinical use in the treatment of pain and movement dysfunction. There is absolutely anecdotal evidence to support its use, and I have spoken with many people that report benefits from it; however, it is very different from functional dry needling.
The basis of treatment using FDN is a clinical examination of the nervous system, functional movement patterns, and soft tissue in the body, and needles are placed directly into the dysfunctional tissue in order to elicit a "twitch response" in the muscle or to facilitate/inhibit the central/peripheral nervous system in the dysfunctional area of the body. This trigger point dry needling is partnered with a functional movement pattern corrective program in order to maintain the improvements that we are able to make with the needle itself (something you will rarely if ever see in an acupuncture clinic). There is a great deal of peer-reviewed research to support its efficacy, much of which can be found by clicking here.
Does it hurt?
There is typically little to no pain upon insertion of the needle itself into the skin or healthy muscle tissue. Upon making contact with the dysfunctional/unhealthy muscle, you will experience a "twitch" response which is comparable to a mild cramp - this twitch is the indication that the dysfunctional tissue has been properly treated and should restore to normal function shortly thereafter.
Will I bleed?
It is not typical to have any bleeding from a FDN session. Due to variations in anatomy between all people, it is possible to hit small blood vessels during the treatment which may lead to minor bruising or a drop of blood appearing on the skin; however, there is no lasting damage done to any vessels - it heals up almost immediately.
How many visits are typically needed?
The vast majority of people experience significant benefit from just one visit; however, on average, 2-4 visits are needed for the best results.
Can I work out the same day as my visit?
I typically discourage clients from performing dynamic lifts (the snatch, the clean & jerk, etc.) immediately after the first session due to the fact that you are likely to have improved mobility following a session, and your nervous system will not really know what to do with that improved mobility that quickly. It is perfectly fine to do a "general" workout the same day and any other kind of accessory strength work you would like to do. Once you know how you respond to treatments, it is perfectly fine to begin engaging in more dynamic lifts on the same day. Many clients find that they have their best lifting sessions immediately after being dry needled, once they know how they respond to the treatments.
Will I need to follow a corrective exercise program as well?
Absolutely! FDN is a wonderful tool for improving muscle and nervous system function; however, you will also need to perform corrective exercises (which will be discussed with your therapist) in order to improve your strength and motor patterns and hopefully avoid the need for future treatment. FDN does not replace physical therapy by any means; however, it is a FANTASTIC tool to help speed along your recovery and spend less time in therapy.
Why have I never heard of this before now?
FDN has been around for decades; however, it has taken quite some time to become more popular in the United States. The continuing education courses to become certified in dry needling are expensive, and they fill up very quickly, so they attract a small crowd of physical therapists. Unfortunately, many physical therapists are not as progressive as they should be with regards to keeping up with current research and best current practice standards - dry needling has been shown in many research ventures to be among one of the best treatment techniques that can be used for the treatment of pain and movement dysfunction. It has become extremely popular in elite fields of athletics with many Olympic training programs, professional sports organizations, and top-level college athletic programs employing physical therapists that practice dry needling.
Do you take insurance?
This question creates a double-edged sword for me many times - I have chosen not to accept insurance as I do not want to "play the game" with insurance companies on what services I need to provide in order to keep my business alive. My time-based fees allow me to always provide only ONE-ON-ONE TREATMENT with my clients, so when you pay for 45-minutes with me, you get exactly that - many times in a "traditional PT" setting, you will be splitting time with 2, maybe 3, other patients within that same time slot. I feel that my clients deserve the best service that I can offer, and the only way I can do that is my providing one-on-one care. Many times, the co-pay to see a physical therapist is very close to what I charge for visits. With that being said, I am happy to provide you a reimbursement form that you can submit with your insurance company for any "out-of-network" reimbursement they are able to provide for you. You are also able to use your HSA/FSA/HRA to see me as I am a licensed healthcare provider.