By Alicia Pack

Living with pain is a difficult daily challenge that too many people face. Don’t let your pain get past the point of no return. If pain is a regular occurrence in your life, it may be time to make a change and visit the Sport & Spine Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Tampa Palms.

At Sport & Spine, the patient and the patient’s pain relief goals are the first priority, from the moment you walk in the door to the time you walk out the door, usually with a little more spring in your step.

Dr. Ryan Whelton, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and president of Sport & Spine, says that, “We pride ourselves on not just treating the injury but the whole person.”

All of Dr. Whelton’s degrees are from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and include a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science, a Master of science in Physical Therapy and his DPT degree. In addition, Dr. Whelton has subspecialties in treating tempromandibular joint (TMJ) pain, headaches, sports injuries, back and neck pain and even treating patients as young as three months old.

Dr. Whelton has some pretty impressive credentials as a physical therapist, including being a PT with the New England Patriots the year the team won Super Bowl XXXVIII. He also has worked for the Boston Celtics of the NBA, the NHL’s Boston Bruins, individual athletes at Boston College and with UFC mixed martial arts fighters. A former Division I-A athlete himself, Dr. Whelton trained athletes who were preparing for the NFL Draft, rehabilitating their injuries and increasing speed and strength and overall wellness.

Dr. Whelton also works with patients outside the athletic arena helping them achieve their goals of weight loss, toning of muscles, and wellness promotion. He also spent two and a half years rehabilitating our nation’s injured veterans and active duty soldiers who have suffered major trauma such as traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, polytrauma and post-surgical veterans.

Sport & Spine offers a variety of programs, including the 830Laser Program (see below for more info), Back Pain and Sport Therapy programs. Sport & Spine also offers numerous specialized services including yoga, Pilates, massage, personal training and sport-specific rehabilitation and injury prevention.

The ML830 Laser is non-invasive, FDA-approved and targets the root causes of your pain, not just addressing the symptoms. Dr, Whelton says the laser has successfully helped treat patients with a variety of aches, pains, injuries and neurological conditions without the use of drugs. Some of the benefits of using the ML830 Laser Program include reducing inflammation, improving daily quality of life, avoiding long-term effects of an injury, reducing risk of re-injury and faster recovery times.

Immediately following the laser treatment, 75-80 percent of the paients treated notice an improvement in their condition. Depending upon the severity and recurrence of a condition, most patients will need from 4-5 to 10-18 treatments. Pricing for a single laser treatment is $39.50, although discounts are available for multiple treatment packages.

The Back Pain Program offers a number of solutions that will help to diminish back and neck pain. Treating the problem as quickly as possible will not only help relieve the pain, but also reduce the risk of re-injury. The benefits of the program are many and consist of better posture, enhanced sleep, more flexibility and a return to an active lifestyle. Anyone who suffers from back, neck or shoulder pain, as well as anyone who sits at a desk for long periods of time, are prime candidates. Results differ depending upon the complexity of the underlying problem, but many people start to feel relief after the first treatment.

Fast-acting treatment of sports injuries can reduce your recovery time and help prevent re-injury. Sport & Spine’s Sports Therapy Program helps the patient learn how to prevent future injuries, getting you “back in the game” and increasing flexibility and movement with the use of state of the art equipment. According to the staff at Sport & Spine, someone with a sports injury should stay away from prolonged use of pain medication and treatments that do not address the source of the injury. In the case of sprains and strains, patients can typically expect recovery times within three to four weeks.

“The main reason patients come to Sport and Spine, and recommend us to their co-workers, friends and family — which is the highest compliment, in my opinion — is that patients learn how to realign themselves at home, easily and safely,” Dr. Whelton says.

Sport and Spine Physical Therapy and Wellness Center accepts most insurance policies and offers a 30-percent discount to out-of-pocket patients, those with high insurance deductibles and for people opting out of their HMOs. Sport & Spine stands behind a high quality of service with a 100-percent guarantee.

Dr. Whelton says he opened Sport & Spine in Tampa Palms because, “the community is very welcoming and friendly. And, because the location is close to the medical and academic centers at USF and Florida Hospital.” Dr. Whelton has been asked to give weekly lectures at the University of South Florida to medical students, residents, fellows and faculty.

When not helping patients alleviate pain or speaking at USF, the staff members at Sport & Spine have participated in local charity events, including those benefitting the Fraternal Order of Police, The Children’s Home, various foster and/or adoptions agencies in Tampa Bay, Toys for Tots and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Dr. Whelton and his wife are licensed foster parents. Sport & Spine provides free therapy for those who are not able to meet the costs.

Sport & Spine Physical Therapy & Wellness Center is located at 15303 Amberly Dr., Suite C, in the professional office plaza located next to The Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms (which is anchored by Lifestyle Family Fitness and Sushi Tsu. The center is open Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. To contact, please call 699-9040. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit

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