Case Study | 5 Star Review for Dr. Danny Masters, Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy & Pilates in Westlake Hills

Stephen complained of numbness in his fingertips for 11 months.

I’m Stephen Dunn, a physical therapist and the co-owner of CORE Therapy & Pilates in Westlake Hills with my wife Cheryl Dunn. After being a hands-on physical therapist for over two decades, I started to get numbness and tingling in my left hand with holding my phone.

The symptoms would start in my thumb, index, and middle finger about halfway and shoot to the fingertips. At first, it would come and go but within about a month it was just a constant tightness in the hand and numbness and tingling in the tips of the fingers innervated by the median nerve. 

Treatment received from multiple PTs, Chiropractors.

I worked with multiple physical therapists and chiropractors at the time and nothing made a change in my hand. The treatment was focused on my neck and left arm and my neck would always feel looser and better, but again, no change in the hand. 

dr danny master

Dr. Danny Masters: From Student to Physical Therapist.

Dr. Danny Masters, Physical Therapist, started working with us at CORE Therapy & Pilates 6 months ago. But before physical therapy school in Houston, Danny was a volunteer with us at CORE Therapy & Pilates. 

He shadowed me for a summer, watching me treat my patients with hands-on myofascial release and Pilates and Gyrotonic based exercises. Fast forward and Danny has completed physical therapy school and worked at a busy outpatient clinic before joining our team. He came to work with us wanting to learn more about Myofascial Release and Pilates… 

Myofascial Release Course for 2 days.

I have been mentoring Danny with hands-on techniques since he arrived at CORE Therapy & Pilates and he has been working on a Pilates Teacher Training Course with Cheryl. But the fun began about a month ago when he and I took a John Barnes Myofascial Release Continuing Education Course together. We got to partner up and work on each other for each technique learned in the two-day class. And this is where it gets interesting… 

Jaw and chewing problems.

I had crazy TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) pain and chewing issues after two days of Dr. Danny working on my entire body, from my hip flexors and piriformis, to my calves, to my upper back. Not once did he work on my jaw, but there I was biting my inner cheek with each bite while chewing.

It was really painful and I had to use a spoon in my mouth to pull the cheek away from my teeth and jaw. A few days later with some self treatment, my jaw and TMJ issues were resolved and I was happy to be able to eat without holding a spoon in my mouth. That was very strange but very necessary at the time.  

Vertigo and balance issues.

Then I had my first full session with Dr. Danny at the studio. The course was a series of techniques that had made a shift in my body. However, getting a full treatment session is designed around what I need with my posture and fascial restrictions, not just a collection of techniques.

Dr. Danny did some techniques from the course and a few craniosacral techniques that I have been teaching him in our mentor sessions. It felt so good as my central nervous system calmed down and feel relaxed.

However, later that night and the next few days I experienced vertigo and balance issues with certain neck motions. I experienced vertigo 4-5 years ago and craniosacral therapy is what helped me tremendously, not the traditional vertigo treatments physical therapists typically perform.

Vertigo and balance issues were resolved by the next session with Dr. Danny the following week. Neither the jaw nor vertigo symptoms have returned since. 

I had intense left-side chewing issues after the two-day course. I had vertigo when looking over my left shoulder or looking up after the first full myofascial release and craniosacral therapy session at the studio. Think about this, the inner ear (typically responsible for vertigo) and TMJ are very close together when looking at the anatomy of the jaw and skull. 

Improved median nerve symptoms in the fingertips.

So here is the crazy part of it all… My numbness and tingling in my left hand were about 60% better! I noticed improvements in my sensation with holding objects in my left hand or trimming my fingernails.

I was also stronger with opening jars and with fine motor activities. This was the first change I had experienced in my median nerve symptoms in over 11 months. It was so great to see these improvements as I became the case study for Dr. Danny.

Everything I had been teaching Dr. Danny about myofascial release and treating the body holistically was showing results with my own injuries. 

So instead of just treating the median nerve from my neck to my hand, Dr. Danny's treatment may consist of myofascial release to my psoas, iliacus, quadratus lumborum, or diaphragm as well as work on my neck, shoulder, and head with craniosacral therapy. 

A few months ago I had no improvements or digressions from Dr. Danny treating my neck and median nerve to my hand. As soon as we stepped away from my neck and started working on my postural imbalances and fascial restrictions, boom… the first progress in 11 months was made. 

A few sessions later and I have not had any flare-ups of random things like the jaw or balance issues. My numbness and tingling continue to improve and I find myself forgetting about it for the first time in almost a year now. 

Have you been dealing with pain or numbness/tingling for more than a few weeks? If so then it is probably time to call us at 512-215-4227 to schedule your evaluation with Dr. Danny Masters, Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy & Pilates in Westlake Hills | Austin, Texas.

Learn more about John Barnes Myofascial Release

Check out Stephen’s blog on Myofascial Release.