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Amy's Story

Rehabilitation Services
“It’s been a few months now and I’m not pain free, but it helped with the healing process and getting rid of tension and pain. My pain before was about six or seven and after the first dry needing appointment it was a three or four.”

Dry needling helps patient with stubborn neck pain

As a medical coder, Amy sits at a desk all day. Over the last few years, that compounded with less exercise and increased stress to result in pain and tightness that had settled in her shoulder and neck. She tried a variety of things such as massage, heat and ice, exercise and stretching. She went to physical therapy three times a week for months but as soon as she would stop therapy, the stubborn pain and knot in her neck returned.

At an appointment, her physical therapist suggested seeing Jon Heger, PT, DPT, MBA, a physical therapist who does a newer technique called dry needling.

“After being in pain for more than six months, I was willing to try anything,” said Amy. “The next week I had an appointment with Jon.”

Jon explained that dry needling is a new-to-physical therapy intervention which uses a small, thin needle to stimulate tight muscles on a much deeper level than traditional soft tissue techniques in order to increase blood flow to the area and help with pain and relax tissue.

“Even after the first session I could feel my neck loosen — it was instant. He also showed me strengthening exercises. I went twice a week for few weeks, then once a week, then every other week, then as needed. It’s been a few months now and I’m not pain free, but it helped with the healing process and getting rid of tension and pain. I truly believe it was a combination of both physical therapy and dry needling,” said Amy. “My pain before was about six or seven and after the first dry needing appointment it was a three or four. I’m glad I’m aware of this now.”

“For patients who experience chronic pain and are desperate for help or feel like they’ve ‘tried it all,’ I encourage them not to give up,” said Heger. “There are plenty of new treatment options out there. Not every patient that I see is appropriate for dry needling, but a lot of folks make progress or benefit from a second opinion or a fresh look at things. Work with your provider to find what helps you.”


*Dry needling is offered at Physical Therapy departments within CentraCare Plaza and CentraCare – Long Prairie.