Avoid orthopedic surgery by trying physical therapy, first

Myo Fit Clinic 9 Dry Needling Copy
Dr. Adam Miller, PT, DPT, of MyoFit Clinic, performs the dry needling technique for helping patients avoid carpal tunnel surgery. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

A plethora of recent studies have indicated that for many orthopedic ailments—lower back conditions, torn ACL or meniscus, rotator cuff issues—taking the conservative path of physical therapy is just as effective, if not more so, than surgery.

Armed with a high-tech arsenal of treatment methods, the doctors of physical therapy at MyoFit Clinic in Chardon, Middlefield and Ashtabula say each day they see more evidence to support this research.

We caught up with Dr. Adam Miller, PT, DPT, at the Middlefield clinic to find out more.

“Within our state of the art facility, we use the latest methods to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain and spur healing of the body’s structures,” he explains. “Especially for the spine, in the vast majority of painfully debilitating conditions such as sciatica, spinal stenosis and bulging herniated disks, our patients are pleasantly surprised and grateful for the positive outcomes.”

Working in tandem with soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release, which recalibrate the nervous system’s signals the brain sends to structures to improve function, the doctors employ techniques such as dry needling, laser therapy and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM).

He says that in addition to avoiding orthopedic surgery, one of the goals at the clinics is to help patients get off their pain medications, which can cause side effects if taken long-term.

When the pandemic hit this spring, the clinics launched a telehealth program to keep their patients thriving.

“E-visits have become a silver lining,” he says. “Our patients been receiving expert treatment and reaching their goals of pain reduction while staying at home saving money and time, and not having to leave. We see these visits continuing past the crisis.”

Dr. Miller’s “aha” moment that spurred him to become a physical therapist came while he was working as a science teacher in Ecuador after earning his undergrad degree from Hiram College in biochemistry.

“I would see these unfortunate people on street corners suffering from terrible conditions and thought to myself, I wish I could do something to help them,” he says. So, he headed back home to Cleveland State University to get his doctorate of physical therapy.

Dr. Adam M. Miller, PT, DPT, is the lead physical therapist at MyoFit Clinic is located in Middlefield, 440-632-1007, Chardon, 440-286-1007, and Ashtabula 440-993-1004. Visit MyoFitClinic.com for a in-clinic appointment or a Telehealth E-visit and to find out more.