Benefits of Trigger Point Dry Needling (TrP-DN)

Trigger Point Dry NeedlingAt Fusion Physical Therapy we specialize in Trigger Point Dry Needling (TrP-DN) as an effective way to alleviate painful and tender muscles.

What are trigger points?

Trigger points are knots within a muscle that may cause pain over a large area which may lead to challenges in performing everyday activities. In fact, when one of these trigger points is touched, it is painful and can create pain in other areas close to the initial pain point. The arm and neck are the most common locations for trigger points. This muscle pain and trigger points are sometimes called myofascial pain syndrome.

What is Dry Needling Therapy?

Dry needling is a specialized treatment technique that is invasive and desensitizes and deactivates trigger points by using an acupuncture needle. The needle is a very fine, solid filament needle that doesn’t hurt as it passes through the skin.

What is the Dry Needling Process?

The needle is repeatedly inserted into the trigger point creating a local twitch response in the muscle. This local twitch deactivates the trigger point and confirms the source of pain. This local twitch can be compared to a very mild cramping or aching sensation.

What kinds of ailments and symptoms does Dry Needling treat?

Because muscle problems tend to be a primary and in some cases a secondary contribution in many musculoskeletal conditions, Trigger Point Dry Needling helps treat the following symptoms and ailments:

  • Neck Pain
  • Muscle Tendonitis
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Rotator Cuff Problems
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Plantar Fasciitis and much more

How can the specialized therapists at Fusion Physical Therapy help me?

  • Improve blood flow
  • Eliminate tension
  • Release tight muscles
  • Reduce pain and healing of chronic muscles, tendons and joint injuries
  • Decrease pain and increase your range of motion

What can I expect at a treatment session at Fusion Physical Therapy?

Each session will take about 30 minutes although it could be more or less time depending on the nature and size of the treatable area. After one treatment your muscles will feel tired and sore as though you just left a chiropractor’s office. The pain can be alleviated with cold and heat ice packs along with stretching.

At Fusion Physical Therapy our certified therapist’s mail goal is to work with you so you can perform your daily activities without pain.  Contact us today by visiting our website at or by calling us at 580.699.5455.

Women’s Health: Kegel Exercises

Kegel ExercisesWhat is a Kegel?

Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises were named after Dr, Arnold Kegel, who was the first physician to describe the repeated contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are located at the bottom of the pelvis that go from the pubic bone in front to the tail bone in the back and span side to side across our sit bones. Pelvic floor muscles help prevent bladder and/or bowel leakage.

How do you perform a Kegel exercise?

Identifying the correct muscles to contract and relax is the most important thing about Kegel exercises. Below are a few simple instructions to follow for performing a Kegel exercise:

  1. Stop the stream of urine; this is the basic move of Kegel exercises
    1. don’t start and stop your urination on a regular basis, as that might do harm
  2. Hold and release:
    1. Hold your contractions for two to three seconds and then release
  3. Once you have completed step one and step two correctly, then complete five sets of 10 repetitions per day. The hold and release can happen with regular everyday activities such as while driving your car, sitting at your desk, even while you are standing in line at the grocery store

A few tips to note:

  1. Don’t close your legs together
  2. Don’t squeeze your bottom
  3. Don’t press your stomach outward

What are the benefits of Kegel Exercises?

Below are a few of the main benefits of Kegel Exercises

  • Pleasurable sexual sensations may occur by increasing muscle strength that is involved in helping some women achieve orgasm
  • Reduces pelvic pain or vaginal pain during intercourse
  • Improves urinary incontinence
  • Prevents and treats pelvic organ prolapse

What should I do if I can’t do Kegel Exercises

Whether you experience incontinence, prolapse, pain while having or sex or want to discuss Kegel exercise or pelvic floor dysfunction further, we would love to meet with you. Our women’s health specialist at Fusion Physical Therapy will create a customized treatment plan based on questions asked during your initial exam, as well as an internal exam. Contact us today by visiting our website at or by calling us at 580.699.5455.

Pregnancy and Physical Therapy

Pregnancy can create many issues for women. In fact, studies show that approximately 50% to 70% women experience back pain during pregnancy. For many women the pain disappears after pregnancy however more than 33% of the women will continue to experience back pain up to a year after pregnancy. While the baby is growing inside the uterus the pressure causes the center of gravity to move forward and creates a strain on the lower back which is where most women experience the pain. This gravity pull causes a woman to slump forward and creates poor alignment. Over time this pull makes the shoulders begin to roll forward which then creates stress on the neck, mid-back and shoulder.

Pain in the pelvic girdle, hips and lumbar region are most commonly experienced during pregnancy. Sandi Gallagher, PT, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland states that “In pregnancy, women are more predisposed to these conditions because of the ligamentous laxity that results from hormonal changes, and because a woman’s center of gravity and body mass are changing,” Gallagher further explains. “So, any muscle weakness or joint instability that she had coming into the pregnancy increases her difficulty meeting the increased demands of her body’s changes.”

How is lower back pain treated for women?

At Fusion Physical Therapy we treat lower back pain due to pregnancy with a combination of treatments such as braces, exercise therapy, manual therapy and education. We will work with you by teaching new and proper ways to perform regular daily routine activities that will reduce lower back pain.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week throughout a pregnancy and should include one or more of the following exercises:

  1. Abdominal strengthening
  2. Aerobic activity
  3. Pelvic floor muscle exercises

What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

Below are just a few of the many benefits of exercising during pregnancy:

  1. Alleviate pain and discomfort during pregnancy
  2. Faster recovery
  3. Reduced pregnancy and labor risks
  4. Lose weight quicker
  5. Babies tend to be healthier

What can I expect at my physical therapy session?

At Fusion Physical Therapy our trained women’s health physical therapist will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan which will help relieve back and pelvic pain during and after pregnancy and may include:

  • Heat and Ice treatment: used cautiously
  • Stabilization exercises that include pelvic floor muscles and core muscles
  • Therapeutic exercise: tones muscles, improves metabolism and decreases fatigue

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy today via phone at 580.699.5455 or online at

Back Pain and Physical Therapy

Back Pain and Physical TherapyWithin a three-month period of time, 25% of Americans will experience pain in the lower back. The pain is generally mild and eventually subsides. There are however times when the pain will not disappear, it returns or worsens.

At Fusion Physical Therapy, we have patients that have undergone unnecessary surgeries, prescribed pain medicine and have large expensive medical bills to pay. Physical therapy is a more cost-efficient treatment that should be considered first.

At Fusion Physical Therapy one of our trained physical therapists may perform the following treatments to relieve back pain:

  • Modalities

Modalities decrease pain with passive physical therapy, which means the treatment or therapy is performed on the patient. Modality treatment includes heat/ice packs, TENS units and ultrasounds

  • Back Pain exercises

Back pain exercises are active physical therapy treatments, which means the patient completes some form of exercise or activity. The following back pain exercises may be experienced during your physical therapy appointment:

  • Strengthening: 15 minutes of strengthening exercises will help strengthen the lower back
  • Core strengthening exercises: These exercises include crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, abdominal machines and hyperextension lower back exercises
  • Stretching: stretching your hamstring is an extremely effective exercise for lower back pain
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning: low impact aerobics are highly recommended for long term pain reduction. This includes walking, water therapy, swimming or riding a bicycle. Thirty to forty minutes for three times during the week is highly effective for reducing back pain.

Abdominal exercises as well as lower back exercises should be completed at home in addition to the treatments performed in the therapy clinic. If the home exercises are not completed eventually the lower back problems and pain will occur again and may even cause a loss of fitness in the trained muscles. It is crucial to follow the treatment plan and stick to the prescribed exercise program for the prescribed amount of time.

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy at 580-699-5455 or online at Our skilled physical therapists will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will strengthen and provide stability in the back which will significantly reduce the pain.

Digital Disabilities and Physical Therapy

Technology and Digital DisabilitiesThe age of technology has great benefits such as the ability to communicate with our family and friends frequently, the ability to receive information quicker and the ability to work more efficiently. However there are also disadvantages of this technology such as the side effects that our bodies experience. As we spend more and more time typing on our keyboards, thumb scrolling, tapping our screens we also begin to experience fatigue in our neck, pain in our thumbs, aches in our forearms and discomfort in our wrists. A new term is trending due to these technology ailments; ever heard of digital disabilities? These include text neck or cell phone elbow.

Text Neck is pain and damage to the neck. This pain is caused from the constant movement of your neck looking down at your tablet, cellphone or other wireless devices for prolonged periods of time. Text neck is rapidly becoming common as the reliance of our wireless devices increases. The longer we keep our heads down from the constant typing, swiping and tapping, the more stress we place on our muscles. The movement of bending the neck to look down happens with other activities besides texting but ithe issues resides with the frequency. Looking down to text, scroll through Facebook or check emails just adds more activity to our spine.

The symptoms of text neck are as follows:

  1. Pain in the Upper Back
  2. Shoulder Pain
  3. Pain down your arm and into your hand

Prevention of text neck:

  1. Keep your phone at eye level.
  2. Put your cellphone down and walk around after 20 or 30 minutes of looking down texting, etc.

Treatment of text neck are as follows:

  1. Increase your core muscles. This will support your upper body, which includes your neck.
  2. Strengthen your neck muscles and increase your neck’s flexibility.

Our trained physical therapists at Fusion Physical Therapy will partner with you to create a customized physical therapy program that will include core muscle exercises as well as neck strengthening exercises to minimize the strain on your neck.

Cell phone elbow, also known as cubital tunnel syndrome, is another trending term. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a common nerve compression syndrome in the upper extremities. This nerve compression may occur when the elbow is flexed for longs period of time, such as speaking on the phone.

The symptoms of cell phone elbow are as follows:

  • Pain/Numbness/Tingling in the small and ring fingers as well as the forearm
  • Fatigue/Weakness in hand creating difficulty in opening jars and various other activities

Prevention of Cell Phone Elbow is as follows:

  1. Use a hands-free headset or hands-free mode on your phone
  2. While talking on the phone switch hands frequently

Treatment of Cell Phone Elbow is as follows:

  1. Manual Therapy
  2. Prescription Medication
  3. Surgery

At Fusion Physical Therapy our customized treatment plan will consist of a variety of treatments including manual therapy exercises and activities. We will also educate you on the proper stretches that will place the least amount of stress on the elbow as well as exercises that strengthen the elbow.

Women’s Health: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic Floor DysfunctionDid you know that twenty percent of American women suffer with some form of pelvic pain which is also known as pelvic floor dysfunction?  For many Americans the pain is unidentifiable and goes untreated

What is Pelvic Floor Pain?

There are tissues and muscles in your pelvic area which form a sling that goes from the pubic bone to the tailbone which assists in supporting the pelvic organs as well as the abdominal organs; this is called the pelvic floor. The support from the pelvic floor helps control the bladder, bowels and sexual activity. When these pelvic floor muscles are tight, weak or there is an impairment in the hop joint or lower back, a wide variety of problems can occur.  This irritation or an increased/decreased sensitivity of the tissues surrounding the pelvic organs is what causes the pelvic pain.

What causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Below are a few causes that causes that could be a result of this dysfunction:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Infections that are undiagnosed
  • Poor Posture from Chronic Low Back
  • Trauma from a bad fall
  • Insidious onset
  • Surgery

Should I be referred to a Physical Therapist?

If you have one or more of the below symptoms you should consider seeing a Physical Therapist.

  • Disorders of the bladder such as
    • Urinary-Frequency Syndrome: urinary frequency, urgency or hesitancy
    • Interstitial Cystitis: a.k.a. Painful bladder syndrome
    • Urinary Incontinence: a loss of urine from the bladder due to muscle weakness or muscle spasm/tightness
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Stomach feeling full which creates abdominal pressure and bloating
  • Pelvic Pain/Dysfunction such as
    • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Infection of reproductive organs with pelvic adhesions or scar tissue formation
    • Pudendal Neuralgia
    • Vaginismus: Muscle Spasms creating an inability to penetrate the vagina
    • Pelvic Congestion
    • Lichens sclerosis and Planus: Skin lesions that are inflamed; narrowing of the vagina may occur with scarring and adhesions
    • Lichens sclerosis: Skin eruption that is chronic; creates lesions that are associated with itching, painful intercourse and burning
  • Coccydynia: Pain found near or in the tailbone area
  • Post-surgical procedures such as hernia, laparoscopy, hysterectomy, appendectomy, caesarean section, episiotomy and prostatectomy

How can Physical Therapy help with treatment?

At Fusion Physical Therapy, our physical therapists will collaborate with you to create a treatment plan customized for you based on your needs. Treatments at Fusion Physical Therapy may include:

  • Trigger Point Dry Needle
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Heat and Cold Therapy
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization (External and Internal)
  • Myofascial
  • Connective Tissue Manipulation

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy at today to set up an appointment  with our trained physical therapists to create the best treatment plan for you which will allow you to enjoy your daily activities with less pain.

Women’s Health and Physical Therapy

Women's Health and Physical TherapyPelvic pain is becoming more and more discussed among women as well as urinary and/or bowel incontinence. All of these symptoms are a result of pelvic floor dysfunction which is caused by pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, chronic coughing, chronic constipation, trauma as well as aging. At Fusion Physical Therapy our women’s health physical therapist, Jackie Saravane can help!

A women’s health physical therapist can help you alleviate pelvic floor pain as they understand the impact of hormones and how they impact a condition, injury or dysfunction as well as the recovery process. They also realize that each woman is very different and they come with many different concerns that range in ages from young athletes to postmenopausal women. For example, a younger active athletic female requires a very different treatment than a pregnant woman or a woman who has already delivered a baby.

Many young athletic females experience foot, knee and back pain which tends to limit their ability to perform at a high level. I bet you weren’t aware that foot and knee pain can be caused by back pain. This type of problem is identified by our trained women’s health therapist as she has the knowledge and competency to identify these problems and address them which in turn allows you the ability to recover quickly.

Pregnant women and those who have experienced child birth most likely have experienced pelvic pain along with back pain as pregnancy and childbirth place a significant amount of strain on a woman’s body, especially the pelvic floor. Challenging and difficult deliveries can result in pelvic pain, incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse. Our skilled women’s physical therapist can help by:

  • reducing pelvic and back pain that was caused during pregnancy
  • improving the stability of the pelvis
  • eliminating incontinence and pain
  • preventing the need for surgery or even medication

Jackie Saravane also treats the following symptoms:

  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urinary Incontinence

Contact Jackie today at 580-699-5455 or visit us at to make an appointment with Jackie Saravane, our trained women’s health physical therapist, who will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan.

Spine Therapy

Spine TherapyDoes your back hurt most of the day and do you spend a good portion of the day trying to relieve the pain? Have you heard of or even considered Spinal Decompression? At Fusion Physical Therapy we offer spinal therapy.

Spinal decompression includes two types of treatment; surgical and nonsurgical.

Nonsurgical decompression is often used to treat the following symptoms

  • Back or Neck Pain
  • Herniated or bulging disks
  • Posterior Facet Syndrome-worn spinal joints
  • Sciatica-pain, tingling or weakness that is felt from the back to the leg
  • Injured spinal nerve damage

At Fusion Physical Therapy we perform nonsurgical spinal decompression which aids in back relief by gentling stretching the spine manually with a harness or using a computer controlled table with a harness. Spinal disks are gel like sponges in between the bones located in your spine. Spinal decompression creates negative pressure in these discs in order to take pressure off the spinal disks. Due to the creation of this negative pressure, the spinal disks may retract which takes pressure off of the bones and nerves in the spine. The removal of this pressure helps promote movement of oxygen, water and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks allows them to heal.

During the spinal decompression therapy, the patient is fully clothed and a harness is placed around the pelvis and another harness is placed around the trunk. Our trained physical therapists will customize the treatment based on the patient’s specific needs. Each treatment lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes and depending on your level of severity you may need 20 to 28 treatments over a period of five to seven weeks.

Due to the severity of your pain and in order to increase your range of motion to a manageable state, you may receive additional treatments that include cold and/or hot therapy, ultrasound or electric stimulation.

We also suggest that you rest, take nutritional supplements, drink plenty of water each day and perform the prescribed home exercises that will be given to you at each of your spinal therapy visits. These suggestions will improve mobility and strength.

People who have the following conditions would not be considered prime candidates for spinal decompression therapy:

  • Pregnant
  • Advanced osteoporosis
  • Tumor
  • Metal implants located in the spine
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Fracture

Please contact us at Fusion Physical Therapy today and set up an appointment so we can partner with you to create the best customized treatment for you and get you back to moving with less pain.

Sports Injuries and Physical Therapy

Sports InjuryInjuries are common while participating in organized sports, competitions, training exercises, or fitness activities. Poor training methods, not warming-up, lack of conditioning, incorrect gear or equipment, fatigue, overuse and dehydration are a few of the causes of sports injuries. According to the National Institute of Health, the most common sports injuries include sprains, strains, Achilles tendinitis, fractures, knee injuries, rotator cuff injuries, dislocations, swollen muscles and shin splints.

Athletes are involved in a large variety of sports and each sport has its own injury risks, it is critical that each patient be examined based on the particular sport that caused the injury. Such sports like golf, baseball pitching, and tennis use a repetitive motion such as loading, swinging, throwing and a follow through motion. While these sports are different they have the ability to create the same stress on certain body parts.

Physical therapy is one of the best and most common ways to treat a sports injury as it helps rebuild strength and movement. Physical therapy can also help with pain management and prevention in order to lessen the damage and to decrease the chances of reinjury.

At Fusion Physical Therapy, our physical therapist, Jason Dipprey, is trained to help patients recover quickly following an injury. Jason will partner with you to create a customized treatment program which will address your needs. We recommend that you stop playing or exercising if you experience any pain. Injuries take time and the normal healing process follows a pattern of phases. At each phase there is a different treatment program and our physical therapist will accurately diagnose each phase and create a treatment plan based on the appropriate phase of the injury. Also, in order for us to create the best treatment plan for your injury, it is extremely important for us to know how the injury happened, the injured area and the extent of the injury.

The customized treatment program may consist of exercises, stretches, and various techniques using specialized equipment along with teaching you how to perform exercises at home. Many minor injuries can heal with time and by adhering to the P.R.I.C.E. (Protection-Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) method. This method allows for healing and recovery to take place while controlling inflammation.

For those with more of a severe injury, treatments may consist of range-of-motion exercises, cold/heat therapy, compression therapy and manual therapy.

At Fusion Physical Therapy our number one priority is to treat your injury as well as provide prevention education. Call us today at 580-699-5455 or make an appointment online by visiting

Women’s Health: Pain While Having Sex – Dyspareunia Treatment

dyspareuniaHave you ever experienced pain while having sex? Then you may suffer from dyspareunia, a recurrent or persistent pain with sexual activity that affects approximately 10% to 20% of women in the United States. This condition can result in a lack of desire for sexual intercourse and damper the relationship a woman has with her partner as sexual intercourse should be associated with pleasure and not pain. When the pelvic muscles in the pelvic floor tighten then Dyspareunia may occur. However, there are women who experience dyspareunia as a result of yeast infections, vaginal dryness or even post-childbirth.

Dyspareunia can be categorized into two types: 1) entry and 2) deep. Entry Dyspareunia occurs when the pain is felt at the entrance of the vagina and deep dyspareunia pain occurs with deep penetration. Dyspareunia tends to have a negative impact on a woman which include negative perception of their body, issues with their relationships, and challenges with their efforts to conceive a baby.

While there are several factors that cause dyspareunia, the five most common causes of dyspareunia are as follows:

  1. Vulvodynia
    1. Burning pain in the vulva that may be continuous or may occur every once in a while. Sometimes it is triggered by touch or pressure, including intercourse or long periods of sitting.
  2. Vaginismus
    1. Pain that occurs when vaginal muscles of the pelvic floor involuntarily or persistently contract when vaginal penetration is attempted. These contractions prevent sexual intercourse and/or make sex painful.
  3. Inadequate Lubrication
  4. Vaginal Atrophy
    1. Thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a lack of estrogen.
  5. Postpartum Dyspareunia

Physical Therapy is a great treatment option for Dyspareunia. At Fusion Physical Therapy, Jackie Saravane, our physical therapist who specializes in women’s health will create a customized plan that will address all of the facets of the pelvic floor. Her treatment plan may consist of a pelvic physical exam, pelvic floor massage as well as bladder manipulation and retraining. The retraining phase includes teaching you to identify the correct muscle groups and how to consciously relax those muscle.

Contact Jackie today to schedule an appointment via phone at 580-699-5455 or online at