Donald Hess Dry Needling 1

“It was a game changer”: Donald Shares Dry Needling Experience

We’ve been talking with ARC Physical Therapy+ patients who have experienced significant healing and improved recovery thanks to dry needling. To learn more about the basics of dry needling, read our recent overview here. In our last story, we spoke with Greg about his dry needling experience, which you can read here.

Today, we talk with Donald about how dry needling helped move his recovery forward.

“It was a game changer”

Donald Hess began physical therapy in March 2020, following a rotator cuff repair and bicep tenodesis surgery.

Although Donald attended regular physical therapy appointments and was dedicated to a strong exercise program at home, his progress was at a standstill. His overhead and external rotation were still limited with no improvement from continued therapy.

When dry needling came up as an option for treatment, Donald agreed to give it a try.

“It was a game-changer, as soon as we started dry needling, my recovery took off. Going through surgery is tough and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get my arm back to 100%. After being stuck in the same spot for two months with no progress, I’m finally moving forward thanks to dry needling.”

Donald Hess

Donald works as a general manager in a restaurant, where he is constantly carrying and lifting items over 10-hour weekend shifts. He intentionally schedules his dry needling for Fridays because of the positive impact it has had on his pain.

“Any pain I used to have, it’s gone all weekend,” Donald said. “I make it through work without hurting, and I even sleep better. The physical therapy combined with the dry needling make a huge difference.”

In addition to the benefits he sees at work, Donald has been able to return to other activities he enjoys much faster than anticipated thanks to dry needling.

“I am already paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing again,” Donald said. “I even kayaked a Class V River five months after my shoulder surgery. I don’t like being slowed down, but I never thought I would be here so quickly.”

“The benefits are so incredible”

Donald is no longer afraid of getting another needed shoulder surgery completed, because he has faith that physical therapy combined with dry needling can help him recover quickly.

Donald Hess Dry Needling 2“The shoulder I had surgery on is already becoming more dominant and stronger than my non-surgery shoulder,” Donald said. “I plan to continue dry needling long past this specific shoulder rehab because the benefits have been so incredible.”

Donald says dry needling is more effective for pain relief than getting a one-hour deep tissue massage, and that the treatment has been much easier than he imagined.

“Dry needling can be intimidating to see, but the relief is worth it,” he said. “You don’t feel the needle at all, and in two months I have only bruised one time. After dry needling, the pain and tightness are gone for four days. Massages and exercises never provided that kind of relief for me.”

Mindi is also amazed by the results she sees from dry needling in patients like Donald.

“Now that I’ve seen what dry needling can do in person, I think ‘wow, how did I treat without this before?’” Mindi said. “It’s truly remarkable to see how adding dry needling to a treatment plan has helped these patients go the extra mile in their recovery.”

Ready to Try Dry Needling?

Contact ARC Physical Therapy+ at 844-755-4272 or to learn more or schedule your Dry Needling appointment.

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