Meet the staff
Name: John Lane
Education Background: Physical Therapist Graduate from Central Michigan University May 2000
Continuing Education includes: McKenzie Method (Lumbar, Cervical); Kinetacore Dry Needling (2011, 2012); Rock Tape Functional Basic Taping (2018)
I find myself in the minority as a physical therapist who has not been introduced to the field by prior personal injury or attendance at a physical therapy office as a patient. I have not had a broken bone, a dislocated joint, or a significant ligament injury. I have had two direct experiences with circumstances that only gained final resolution with dry needling. Both of these experiences show that (1) a person can elect to decline or delay this treatment and still have some return of function, (2) the timing of treatment is arbitrary, and (3) understanding of the circumstances can provide better methods of management (if the source is not treated).
Hip pain and weakness
My initial experience with neuromuscular dysfunction started with a demonstration of a specific limping pattern due to hip weakness when I was teaching a lab session in graduate school over 20 years ago. I learned the hard way that repeatedly demonstrating a limp can result in a strain. As a result I involuntarily had a limp for about a week - with stairs or level surface walking – and I could not run any distance for over six weeks even though I started to work on strengthening the muscle early on. After six additional weeks of focused exercises I was able to run straight ahead for several miles. However, I could not perform any side to side (lateral) tasks without aggravating my hip muscle for two or three days. As my primary reference of basketball, I would start to have pain within 5 to 10 minutes of playing and would not be able to move effectively before 30 minutes had passed. This occurred whether I tried playing a couple times a week apart or I waited as long as six months between attempts. I did not believe I was dealing with a ‘trigger point’ as I never had radiating symptoms and the pain did not persist on a daily basis. After 13 (near 14) years of this experience I gained resolution when I attended my first course of instruction on dry needling; I had multiple experiences playing basketball over the several years that followed for up to hours at a time without provocation.
My more recent experience came three years after I attended the courses; this experience reinforced how bizarre the presentations can become as I had an impact to my lower rib cage / upper lower back but later in the day and the following day I developed pain in front of my knee - - I perceived the pain as literally 6 to 12 inches in front of my knee. I did not have pain at my lower rib cage or upper part of the lower back and I did not have pain at my knee with walking, squatting, or stairs. I had no swelling, bruising, or other symptoms. I strictly had pain in front of my knee when I would run; it would calm within half an hour after I finished. My prior response would have been limited to ‘it was due to the impact and increased ground reaction forces crossing my knee and tendons’; I would have focused on resistance exercises and would have waited to see what happened. I do believe that the rapid force and response to impact was relevant, but instead it was due to the muscles supporting the lower back contracting to perform their normal function of dynamic stabilization of the spine. I waited three to four weeks to see what would happen and found that the distance that I would run did not affect the intensity of symptoms and that my intensity of symptoms calmed a small degree but generally was not changing. As the only PT in that location I requested a non-PT staff member who was trained in dry needling to treat the suspected area and had full resolution right away. I can understand the argument of ‘you expected to get better’ but I only give that effect a portion of the credit.
**I do not include and will not include stories of my prior clients in this format.