Wendy has been a Physical Therapist, Massage Therapist & Body worker for over 20 years. She holds a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami (Fl) Masters in Exercise Physiology (UK).
She has trained extensively in manual therapy including the following specialties:
Rolfing Structural Integration
Trigger Point Dry Needling
Greg. Roskopfs’ Muscle Activation Technique
Mulligan Mobilization with Movement.
For the last 15 years her practice has focused on Manual Therapies and Pilates equipment based rehabilitation. The modalities of choice used in Wendy’s practice include dry needling with electrical stimulation, taping, myofascial structural work, lymph drainage, manual mobilization of soft tissue & spine, facial and cranial needling for chronic headaches & TMJ. Exercise modalities include Pilates, Muscle activation technique isometric and balance training. She incorporates a variety of massage techniques as an adjunct to traditional physical therapy.
Discouraged by the increasing trend in Physical Therapy to limit patient appointments to 30 minutes due to the massive cut in reimbursement for PT services by insurance carriers. Wendy no longer practices under insurance contracts. PT and bodywork services are cash pay and generally 1 hour in duration. 1 PT/ 1 patient.
Trigger Point Dry Needling
Trigger Point Dry Needling is a technique that uses a "dry" needle, (meaning no medication is injected) inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. The practice of dry needling is under state governance and is approved for appropriately trained physical therapists in most states, including Colorado. Dry needling is also called intramuscular manual therapy. Research has shown dry needling to be a valuable tool in the reduction of muscular pain.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a muscle. Trigger points can be tender to the touch. Applying pressure to a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body. This is called a ”referral pattern”. A PT identifies these points by asking specific questions about pain patterns and by direct palpation of the muscular system.
Dry Needling is not Acupuncture
Dry needling is not acupuncture, the only similarity is that both acupuncture and trigger point dry needling both use similar (solid filament) needles. Unlike the needles used to inject solutions into the body, these needles are not hollow. Miriam Webster defines acupuncture as “Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease or relieve pain “ It is based on the Chinese systems of meridians and energetic flow. In contrast dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles. Its premise is based on anatomical structures and it is supported by research. Physical therapists use dry needling with the goal of releasing or inactivating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion.
Simons, DG, Travell, JG, and Simons, PT 1999
Physical therapists wear gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when dry needling, consistent with Standard Precautions and OSHA standards. The sterile needles are disposed of in a medical sharps collector.
Conditions that can be treated with Dry Needling.
- Neck/Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Hip and Gluteal Pain
- Knee Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
- Chronic Pain
- Athletic Performance
Dry Needling FAQ’s
This section is provided curtesy of Jan Dommerholt, a leading educational provider of Dry Needling.
Dry needling is an invasive procedure in which a solid filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple contraction knots, which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
There are many similarities and differences between dry needling and acupuncture. Licensed physical therapists in a growing number of states can use dry needling under the scope of their practice. Dry needling also falls within the scope of acupuncture practice.. In contrast to most schools of acupuncture, dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research.
The exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known. There are mechanical and biochemical effects. Based on the pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, we know that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit so-called local twitch responses, which are spinal cord reflexes. Getting local twitch responses with dry
needling is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Muscles are thought to be a primary contributing factor to the symptoms. Such conditions include, but are not limited to neck, back and shoulder pain, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer's elbow), headache to include migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain and leg pain (sciatica, hamstrings strains, calf tightness/spasms). The treatment of muscles has the greatest effect on reducing pain mechanisms in the nervous system.
Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.
Yes. All needles are sterile single use and disposed into medical waste containers.
Most patients report being sore after the procedure. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.
Our recommendations vary depending on the amount of soreness you have and on the individual response to the treatment.
Recommendations may include applying heat or ice over the area, gentle stretches and modifications of activities.
Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. Again, we are trying to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed.
In the US, dry needling is a relatively new method for treating myofascial pain and not everyone is already aware of this effective modality. Feel free to inform your doctor about this treatment option. It is upon all of us to educate others about new and innovative ways to treat pain.
Generally speaking, dry needling is the modality of choice when it comes to treating patients in the clinic. More frequently, dry needling is needed in the beginning in order to break the pain cycle. Once that is achieved, other treatment options are introduced.
The musculoskeletal system is under constant pressure from gravity, stress, work etc. A regular exercise program combined with good posture can prevent many problems. If the pain comes back, “tune-ups” are recommended to treat and prevent serious injuries.
CONTINUING EDUCATION (PT, MT & Bodywork)
2004 MAT with Greg Roskopf.
Swedish & Esalen Massage. McKinnon Institute of Professional Massage & Body-work, CA.
Maitland Spinal (mobilization) techniques, Manual Therapy seminars of Colorado.
Foundations of body work. Rolf Institute
Muscle energy techniques for the lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum, Manual Therapy seminars of Colorado.
Assessment and treatment of the cervical spine, Alabama Physical Therapy Association.
Spinal Evaluation and Manipulation, University of St. Augustine. FL
Rolfing Structural Integration certification completed. CO
Mulligan Concept- Mobilizations with movement’ Northeast Seminars. FL
Principles of Manual Medicine, Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. MI.
Manual Therapy of the Lumbar Spine & Pelvis, Alabama Physical Therapy Association. AL.
Polstar Pilates Rehabilitation Certification. 4 weekends, with a practical, written and oral defense exam.
Kineticore Level 1 & 2 Trigger Point Dry Needling. Colorado licensing requirement
MAT – Muscle Activation Technique practitioner.
Myopain Seminars Trigger Point Dry Needling advance training.