PT Link Offers Several Physical Therapy Methods To Relieve Pain

Members of the PT Link Maumee staff include (from left) Gaige Braden, Sam Rakyta and John Kowalczk. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOE SZAFAROWICZ
A variety of conditions are addressed at PT Link, including issues in the back and neck areas. The staff implements several different treatment options to help clients achieve optimal results.

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — PT Link serves the local community with a wide range of physical therapy services specifically designed to get clients back on their feet and be pain-free again.

Treating patients from infants to seniors, the staff at PT Link uses a multi-system approach for much higher success in helping those experiencing pain, with longer lasting results. The multi-system approach utilizes many techniques to successfully treat the multiple interrelated systems of the body, explained business marketing manager Joe Szafarowicz.

“Anything that we can do to make the patient feel better and heal quicker, that’s what we want to do. We want them to get back to or above where they were,” he said.

The staff helps to address a variety of conditions, including back, shoulder, foot and ankle pain; arthritis pain; chronic pain; post-surgical rehabilitation; sports or work injuries; neck pain and headaches; balance and gait disorders; fibromyalgia and neurological disorders and more.

At least 15 different methods are used to treat individuals, such as cupping, which involves placing cups over strategic points on the body to enhance blood flow and healing. 

Sound-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or SASTM, helps to identify and alleviate soft tissue abnormalities such as adhesions, fibrosis, fascial restrictions, scar tissue, trigger points, acupoints and more. 

The McKenzie method helps to identify structural problems and pain generators within the musculoskeletal system, specifically for back and neck pain.

“Issues with the back and neck are still the No. 1 thing that people deal with more than any other problem,” said Szafarowicz. “Right here in Maumee and throughout the surrounding area, we have experts to help people recover quickly from those and other bodily aches and pains.”

Aquatic therapy is also used, along with kinesiology taping and the Titleist Performance Institute or TPI golfer program, which analyzes the body mechanics of the golf swing. 

The center also provides occupational health services to help get people back to work, as well as dry needling, which is a treatment technique often used to relieve pain. The technique is derived from acupuncture; however, the physical therapists at PT Link utilize the physiology or Western medicine principles behind the act of placing a needle into a person, explained physical therapist Sam Rakyta.

“We are basically applying what we know that happens from a physiological standpoint to the anatomy of the body,” he said.

Cold laser therapy is used within the Multi-System Approach to help with the healing process of soft tissue injuries. The laser helps recovery of muscle, tendon, and ligament tissue. Using it at specific sites in conjunction with other methods reduces sensation deficits and numbness, and allows the patient to be more stable with less of a fall risk.

Rakyta has implemented dry needling for six years and said that it helps with a variety of musculoskeletal problems. With the method, a sterile acupuncture needle is inserted through the skin into muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or close to nerves to immediately reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and increase mobility. The method can also be used to help athletes overcome delayed onset of muscle soreness while they push to become bigger and faster or to reach new goals, and recovery becomes an essential phase in the process, Rakyta said. Oftentimes, dry needling can be used to speed up this recovery time and allow the athlete to return to training or to playing as soon as possible.

“It’s going to move the bad blood and get the new blood in there,” Rakyta explained. “One of the goals of the dry needling is contraction and relaxation of the muscle.”

While each client is unique in how they respond to it, some report feeling better the minute they get up from the table and others notice improvement after a few hours or treatments. The nervous system and muscles respond immediately to the dry needle treatment, which leads to some instant improvement, Rakyta said.

“It can reduce tension to the area, and we can see improvements in range of motion and flexibility pretty quick,” he said.

John Zam, 29, of Maumee, is a trainer in Perrysburg who is avid in his workout routine. He has visited PT Link for a variety of services, including dry needling, which he recently used to help alleviate a sore quad muscle.

“I have been coming here on and off the past few years,” said Zam “For some things, I feel like dry needling does help – for my quad, it does.”

Rakyta said that the end goal for any service is to get patients moving, pain-free. 

“We want to help him out so he can do what he loves to do without pain,” Rakyta said.

PT Link currently has eight offices, including an office on Dussel Drive in Maumee, and a ninth office opening soon in Waterville. Other locations include Toledo, Swanton, Sylvania and Oak Harbor.

“First, we are locally owned and operated by physical therapists who live in the communities we serve,” said Szafarowicz.

“Since we are independent, and we rely on our reputation in the community, we work harder than anyone to go the extra mile for our clients.” 

By implementing a multi-system approach to help with pain or functional limitations, individuals are exposed to traditional physical therapy modalities, appropriate exercise and education as well as the dry needling, cupping and much more, said Szafarowicz, 

“The atmosphere in the centers is also upbeat and positive, which is important to any recovery. When you think about therapy, it is not just physical therapy, it’s mental, too,” he said. “If you are not in the right mode, you’re not going to heal. We see a lot of our patients and therapists developing friendships.”

For information about PT Link, visit ptlinktherapy.com or call (419) 559-5591.

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