Dickson Medical Associates (DMA) is pleased to welcome Josh Vaughn as Clinic Director of its Physical Therapy clinic.

A native of the Dickson-area, Vaughn comes to DMA from Results Physiotherapy where he has practiced physical therapy for the past two years.

“Dickson is the city I grew up in. I like it here,” said Vaughn. “It’s very a home-filled place where my family can grow up. There is a need for physical therapists in Dickson. So if I need to work, what better place than where I can give back to the community that raised me.”

DMA unveiled their physical therapy services in December of 2015. Located at 766 Hwy 46 South, DMA Physical Therapy provides an array of quality services in orthopedics, sports medicine and total joint replacement.

“One thing I really like is that I can go on this journey with a patient and guide them through a whole treatment regimen from day one,” said Vaughn. “I like the aspect of helping people, but also giving them the tools to help themselves.”

Vaughn is currently earning certification in dry needling. This certification will establish Vaughn as one of the few specialists in the area who can administer this therapy technique.

One of the biggest questions Vaughn gets is how dry needling is not acupuncture.

Vaughn describes the dry needling process with an example of a patient with an issue of chronic back pain with constant spams. As the therapist, his first task is to work on the muscles, to release tension and restore balance, so the patient can rebuild the muscle with the right range of motion.

“If it takes so long that I dig and dig into a muscle and I’m not seeing progress happening like it should, I can use fine filament needles and go into the muscle belly,” said Vaughn.

The needles activate trigger points to relax the muscles. Vaughn says dry needling is a good way to get some quick movement in people and follow up with correct exercises to maintain it.

“That’s why it’s not like an acupuncture,” said Vaughn. “There is no chi involved. Dry needling is only a tool to move recovery along. It’s not a treatment I hang my hat on. It’s not necessarily the right method for everyone, nor is it a day one treatment.”

For Vaughn, a key part of his job is getting inside his patients’ heads and figuring out their number one need.

“When you get that kind of aha moment from someone who has gone through therapy for a while and says, ‘You know what? I was able to pick up my grand kid. I just did it and forgot I usually can’t.’ It’s a neat thing to be a part of that moment,” said Vaughn.