Medical Doctors

At Mark Thompson Acutherapy, we use evidence-based techniques that have been shown to provide relief for musculoskeletal complaints. These techniques include primarily trigger point acupuncture and dry needling of the myofascia. We integrate massage, myofascial release, and joint mobilization techniques when appropriate and in situations proven amenable to their use. Corrective exercise is prescribed in most cases. We also use scientific acupuncture methods shown to promote relaxation and normalization of the autonomic nervous system [1].

We are musculoskeletal specialists – we only treat muscle/joint pain and dysfunction. Using our unique combination of skills, we can get your non-surgical patients better, faster, without (or with less) medication, and alone or in conjunction with traditional physical therapy [2].

Post-surgical patients also benefit from treatment [3]. In most cases we see inhibition of quadriceps, rotator cuff or other muscles following surgery. “Overuse” pain develops in the most worked muscles as patients work hard to strengthen in an effort to avoid surgery, or to return to full function following surgery. By treating trigger points and areas of myofascial restriction with needling and manual techniques, we can normalize the muscle firing and facilitate the patient’s rehabilitation [4].

Currently, physical therapists can perform dry needling techniques in half the states. There are now numerous studies documenting the usefulness of this technique [5]. However, we use the same techniques more proficiently, having studied and practiced needling for thousands of clinical hours. We also have access to other needling techniques that are not taught in dry needling courses. Many times needling tendons, ligaments, and fascia can be more productive than needling trigger points alone [6]. Adding distal acupoints can sometimes push the treatment to success [7].

We approach our treatments from a scientific perspective, looking at biometric or other potential causes of the patient’s complaints. We do not just treat pain. We attempt to discover the source of the dysfunction and to address it, while continuing to treat the myofascial complaint. In many cases this can be accomplished by lifestyle, exercise, or ergonomic changes. More complex cases are addressed with a multifaceted approach: corrective exercise, instruction in self treatment, gait analysis, fabrication of orthotics, taping, bracing, or referral to more specific disciplines such as cognitive therapy [8].

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  1. Hui KKS, Marina O, Liu J, Rosen BR, Kwong KK. Acupuncture, the Limbic System, and the Anticorrelated Networks of the Brain. Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical. 2010;157(0):81-90. doi:10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.022.
  2. Phys Ther. 2014 Aug; 94(8):1083-94. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20130255. Epub 2014 Apr. Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial. Cotchett MP1, Munteanu SE2, Landorf KB3.
    J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2016 Jan;20(1):156-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.12.014. Epub 2016 Jan 15.
  3. A critical overview of the current myofascial pain literature – January 2016. Dommerholt J1, Finnegan M2, Grieve R3, Hooks T4.
  4. Dry needle stimulation of myofascial trigger points evokes segmental anti-nociceptive effects Srbely JZ, Dickey JP, Lee D, Lowerison MJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 May;42(5):463-468
    clinical trial
  5. Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial Cotchett MP, Munteanu SE, Landorf KBPhysical Therapy 2014 Aug;94(8):1083-1094
  6. Effectiveness of dry needling for the treatment of temporomandibular myofascial pain: a double-blind c  randomized, placebo controlled study Controlled study Diracoglu D, et alJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 2012;25(4):285-290
  7. Inclusion of trigger point dry needling in a multimodal physical therapy program for postoperative shoulder pain: a randomized clinical trial Arias-Buria JL, et alJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2015 Mar-Apr;38(3):179-187
    Efficacy of myofascial trigger point dry needling in the prevention of pain after total knee arthroplasty. Mayoral O, et al. Evidence – Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013; (694941)
  8. Trigger point dry needling and proprioceptive exercises for the management of chronic ankle instability: a randomized clinical trial
    Salom-Moreno J , et al
    Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015;(790209):Epub