By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
PLEASANT VALLEY —
With the help of a new and effective treatment technique, patients of Dynamic Physical Therapy are seeing results and finding relief.
Dynamic Physical Therapy, an outpatient orthopedic practice, treats all musculoskeletal conditions and works with patients of all ages, said founding owner Lincoln Kinkade, PT. He operates the practice with business partner Phil Cook, PT.
Kinkade said the staff treats different spinal conditions and chronic pain associated with the spine, and also has a hand specialist and a vestibular/balance specialist. They also do a lot of workers’ compensation-type rehabilitation to get people ready to go back to work.
Is June, Dynamic Physical Therapy added dry needling — or intramuscular manual therapy — to its offerings.
This new treatment uses thin filament needles, which are basically acupuncture needles, to stimulate a twitch response in the muscle to help it relax. Kinkade stressed that this is a physical therapy technique — not an acupuncture technique.
Dynamic Physical Therapy has had tremendous success in treating back patients, especially people who have pain referred down their leg, in this way, he said. Dry needling can be beneficial for hip and knee patients, and is a very effective treatment for TMJ as well as runners who have a lot of calf or foot pain.
Oftentimes a person will have an injury and the muscles will go into a protective state where the tone is really high, and it feels like the body goes into overdrive and maintains that contraction, Kinkade said.
“What we can do very effectively with the needle is help decrease the activity of a muscle, allow it to relax, allow the body to restore normal blood flow and promote the healing response,” he said. “We are able to pinpoint deep muscles. Ultimately the precision of the technique is really phenomenal for us.”
Compared to palpating or touching through multiple layers of tissue, the needle allows the physical therapist to be in the specific muscle and get the exact response that is needed, Kinkade said. He also feels that this technique is easier to perform.
“It’s natural that some patients have a little bit of a fear of the needle, but after they’ve experienced it once, they’ll tell you compared to other manual techniques that overall this is much more tolerable,” he said.
Kinkade said he uses this technique on most of his patients. But some people are apprehensive about dry needling, and he never tries to talk them into the technique if they’re not comfortable with it.
A physical therapy colleague with experience in dry needling encouraged Kinkade to become trained in this technique, and he said he wishes he had done it a long time ago.
Kinkade traveled to Baltimore, Md., to take the Level 1 dry needling course through KinetaCore, a physical therapy continuing-education institution. After finishing the class and logging 200 patient encounters, he went on to complete the Level 2 training and exam.
Clinicians from Dynamic Physical Therapy’s Pleasant Valley, Westover, Sabraton and Bridgeport offices are Level 1 certified, which allows them to treat all the basic body parts. By the end of February, the rest of the practice’s clinics — in Fairmont, Morgantown, Jane Lew and Buckhannon —will each have a qualified dry needler.
Kinkade, who is the state’s only Level 2 dry needler north of Parkersburg, can work on the neck, head and face, and the muscles in the thorax region and the pelvic region. The staff at the practice will also work toward Level 2 certification in the future.
Dynamic Physical Therapy has a total of 55 employees. When Kinkade started the practice in Westover in September 2003, just he and the officer manager were running the business. But four weeks after opening, they had a full-time patient load, and the demand for this type of therapy continued to drive the business’ growth.
“The multiple locations is a commitment to how we delivery physical therapy,” he said. “We believe that the most powerful tool we have as physical therapists is our hands, and I want every patient to feel like they’ve experienced a hands-on type of therapy when they’ve been in our office.”
Clients aren’t just treated like a number and aren’t rushed in and out, Kinkade said.
“Our patients feel like when they come in they get some specialized, individual time and that we’re able to really focus on their problem, and they don’t feel like they’re being herded,” he said.
Kinkade, originally from Pine Grove in Wetzel County, came to Morgantown in 1991 and still lives there today. He received a scholarship from West Virginia University Hospitals to go through physical therapy school, and then worked in WVU Hospitals’ outpatient department briefly following graduation.
After working for another company, which he said was run by good people, he decided to go out on his own.
“I just had a desire to do things a little differently, to really slow down the pace a little bit, and to give more focus on the patient,” Kinkade said.
He said he loves helping people and getting to interact with a variety of individuals on a daily basis. During the nearly 10 years that it has been in business, Dynamic Physical Therapy has focused on giving attention to the customer and “listening to them, meeting their needs and ultimately improving the quality of their life.”
Martin Hoffman, owner of Rivesville Community Pharmacy, has been going to Dynamic Physical Therapy for about four months.
He said problems with his back led to severe leg pain. He constantly stands up at work, and he was having to sit down every 15 minutes because his leg was hurting so much. This made it hard for him to do his job and to exercise, and he was worried that surgery might be necessary.
Hoffman’s treatment at Dynamic Physical Therapy included traction and other exercises for about a month, which helped a little bit, but he was still experiencing pain. After the second or third dry needling session, the pain almost disappeared. The needling treatment was stopped three weeks ago, and his leg hasn’t hurt since.
“He did an excellent job,” Hoffman said of Kinkade.
Hoffman has been having some foot pain recently, and he’s also trying dry needling to help with that issue. Now, he’s starting to get back into the shape that he was previously in, he said.
If anyone would like to know whether dry needling might be effective for their pain or specific condition or has questions, they can call Dynamic Physical Therapy’s Pleasant Valley office at 304-363-9595. For more information, visit dynamicpt.org.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.