I Didn't Know Physical Therapists Could Do THAT!
March 28, 2013
Written by Sarah Fuller
Every year students, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants have the chance to attend the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) of the American Physical Therapy Association. This year the event was held in San Diego, California from January 21-24. It was a refreshingly warm and sunny retreat compared to last year's meeting in Chicago, IL. For many second and third year DPT students from Bradley University, CSM provides an opportunity to travel and attend lectures and platform presentation from every scope of physical therapy, chat with poster presenters about their current research, network with other students and potential employers, and check out 'free stuff' from exhibitors. Bradley had a strong representation from students, faculty and alumni.
BU Physical Therapy alum, Captain Kimberley Jordan, PT, MPT, lectured and demonstrated a unique intervention technique that may not be very familiar to students and clinicians alike. Her lecture, "Management of Neuromuscular Dysfunction Using Intramuscular Manual Therapy and Trigger Point Dry Needling" had the crowd of over 150 participants attentive throughout her 2 hour session. She lectured on muscle anatomy, the physiological benefits of Dry Needling, the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture as well as philosophies behind this technique. She concluded her presentation with a live demonstration of Dry Needling in which she inserted a long needle into the Infraspinatous shoulder muscle of Bradley's own DPT faculty member, Dr. Dawn Hall, PT, MPT, PhD. After trying many other physical therapy interventions, Dr. Hall shared her own testimony explaining how Dry Needling helped to relieve local muscular pain as well as significantly improve her shoulder range of motion to be able to reach behind her back, which she had been having intense pain with the past year.
Captain Jordan is a 2004 Bradley graduate and has been in the US Army National Guard for over 20 years. She was on active duty for 3 years in Iraq and served as a brigade physical therapist for 4-6,000 soldiers. She learned about Dry Needling during an advanced neuromuscular class she was taking through the military and decided to become certified to perform this technique in her practice. Since 2010, she has found Intramuscular Manual Therapy and Trigger Point Dry Needling (IMT/TDN) to be a very beneficial adjunct to her physical therapy practice with unique cases in which she has relieved muscular pain in patients who's pain was otherwise unresolved. Dr. Dawn Hall is hoping to have Captain Jordan come to guest lecture on this topic to future DPT students at Bradley as well as provide opportunities for continuing education classes for current physical therapists. Keep your eyes and ears open for Captain Jordan visiting campus!
IMT/TDN is currently part of the scope of practice for physical therapists in the state of Illinois. Using acupuncture-type needles, IMT/TDN addresses biomechanical muscle imbalances resulting in strength deficits, muscular/flexibility limitation, postural dysfunctions, and painful/swollen/stiff joints. IMT/TDN encourages relaxation of trigger points, improves muscle function, and stimulates neural pain control pathways (ie gate-control theory, neurotransmitter activation, opioid release) to reduce or alleviate pain. For more information regarding Dry Needling, you can access Captain Jordan's presentation below.