Mark Bussell, DPT, BS, OCS
In a way, you could say that physical therapy is Mark Bussell’s family business. Growing up, his father was a physical therapist who operated a small private practice. Mark chose to follow his dad’s career path, graduating from Loma Linda University’s physical therapy program in 1989.
Seeking to do anything he could to allow two special needs sons to have a normal life, Mark began researching how he might help them through manual medicine. He realized that a number of alternative manual therapies that claimed to help with unusual diseases—including seizures or asthma—simply did not work as claimed. However, Mark soon came to believe these therapies were producing other types of desirable results.
Mark concluded that a person’s microvascular system could be influenced through these manual therapies. The scientific literature on nerves showed that lack of blood supply could lead to inflammation of the nervous system. He also saw that his simple manipulation techniques could improve the relationship between the arteries and neural tissue, helping to restore blood flow, reduce inflammation and increase nerve function. His research soon led him to developing Intraneural Facilitation (INF), a series of physical therapy-based procedures and holds that restores blood circulation to ischemic nerves. And this innovative treatment is providing hope to those living with chronic neuropathy.
Mark tested these new techniques on his own family, and saw almost immediate improvement in muscle tightness and nerve pain. His oldest son showed improvement with his seizures, which Mark attributes to excellent care as well as the decreased nerve inflammation resulting from the INF treatments.
Soon Mark began treating additional patients, and was seeing some dramatic results. Continuing to refine the techniques, Mark eventually treated his first neuropathy patient in 2007. Initially suffering from severe foot pain, that patient reported a “pillow feeling” in his feet following treatment. Mark enjoyed continued success with neuropathy sufferers, with his treatments helping to reverse many of their symptoms.
In 2010, Mark was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery and chemotherapy, Mark was left with neuropathy symptoms of his own. He began self-treating, and he soon found his symptoms were alleviated. Working with his oncologist, Mark began treating other chemotherapy-induced neuropathy patients. His success led his oncologist to invite Mark to train her staff and do research at the university hospital where she practiced.
Following a family move to Loma Linda in 2011, Mark began treating neuropathy patients on a trial basis. After six months of continued success alleviating patients’ neuropathic symptoms from diabetes, trauma, and idiopathic neuropathy, the program was made permanent. A new, expanded treatment center will allow Mark to help many more patients enjoy a life without pain or numbness.
“To have the opportunity to work at Loma Linda and work with the patients here has been a real blessing,” Mark says. “It has been an exciting journey. I can’t wait to share Loma Linda’s mission with other patients who would benefit from what INF™ has provided for many hundreds of patients.”