FAX: (406) 549-5392

Treatment Approaches


SPT-dry-needlingFunctional dry needling
Dry needling is a cutting edge soft tissue and musculoskeletal pain treatment rooted in ancient Chinese acupuncture philosophies paired with neuroanatomical knowledge of western medicine. Dry needling uses very fine needles inserted into tender points or trigger points to elicit healing on both cellular and systemic levels. It has been proven effective in treating athletic injuries, acute pain, tendonitis, tendonosis, joint pain, back and neck pain, muscular guarding, delayed onset muscle soreness, cumulative stress/overuse injuries, and joint stiffness. This method can be incorporated into your physical therapy exercise and manual therapy treatment to bring about more timely results and functional improvement.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Several of our therapists at Sapphire PT use IASTM as a treatment to regenerate healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc), and reduce/eliminate unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. IASTM has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a technique referred to as Gua Sha, involving the use of the edge of an object such as a spoon, or piece of horn or jade to “scrape” along the skin to produce light bruising. You may have heard of very similar techniques referred to as Graston or ASTYM.

When soft tissue in the body is injured, it sends blood to the wounded area in order to begin laying down new collagen tissues to repair the injury. This scar tissue is essentially a patch at the site of injury, helping it to heal, but it is much less flexible than normal tissue and can cause abnormal functioning of the musculotendinous unit, resulting in pain. Once the body has completed its self-healing process, the scar tissue can remain and cause chronic discomfort. IASTM has two main functions: to break up abnormal densities scar tissue; and to reinitiate first-stage healing in the body.

Therapists at Sapphire use IASTM to treat the following injuries:

  • Iliotibial ban syndrome (ITBS)
  • Hamstring, calf or other muscle strain
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Tibialis posterior tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciopathy
  • Lateral / medial epicondylitis (tennis / golfer elbow)

Jesse-J-stroke-2Manual Therapy
Manual therapy includes many hands-on techniques utilized by trained physical therapists to restore and improve joint motion kinematics, decrease pain. Manual therapy utilizes an understanding of joint biomechanics and anatomy aimed at restoring function following an injury or chronic pain due to weakness or overcompensation. Manual physical therapy is defined as a clinical approach utilizing skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to mobilization and manipulation. Manual therapy is used by physical therapists to recognize and treat joint, connective tissue, and muscular dysfunction to bring about long-term relief. Our physical therapists utilize manual therapy techniques safely and effectively for appropriate patients.

Squat1Functional Movement Analysis and Retraining
Injury often results from repetitive motion using improper biomechanics. Improper biomechanical movement patterns can be caused by excessive or insufficient tissue length, strength imbalances, and / or faulty neuromuscular coordination patterns (all of which may be contributing to or resulting from injury) . It is possible to fully regain sufficient mobility and strength to allow for proper movement, yet continue to lack the neuromuscular coordination required to functionally use that strength and mobility. For this reason, our physical therapists use functional movement analysis to determine the root cause of your pain, and assure to individualize your rehabilitation plan to assure proper functional movement re-training for a pain-free return to your goal hobbies, sports, or occupation.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a treatment our therapists use to help strengthen and re-train muscles when your nerves are unable to fully relay the message to your muscle to contract. This often occurs postoperatively or when pain is inhibiting your muscle from firing volitionally. The physical therapists at Sapphire PT use evidence-based protocols for optimal results. Call or message one of our therapists for more information.