Dry Needling

Dry needling is a term used to describe the application of sterile needles into various “trigger-points.” A trigger-point is a hyperirritable area of a muscle, often associated with patterns of pain referral and local point tenderness. A healthy muscle typically feels little discomfort with insertion of the needle; however, if a muscle is exhibiting pain or dysfunction, the subject may feel a sensation similar to a muscle cramp, referred to as the ‘twitch response’. The patient may only feel the cramping sensation locally, or they may feel pain or similar symptoms for which they are seeking treatment. The overall effect is a deactivation of this trigger point, thereby reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle. Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even for pain and injury prevention. This is the optimal technique for finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and various functional deficits.

Dry needling is also effective for the management of muscle and neuropathic pain. This includes, but is not limited to: rotator cuff injuries, whiplash, muscle tears, tennis/golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel, compartment syndrome, low back pain, piriformis syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellar tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, impingement, and thoracic outlet syndrome.

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Rhonda Cooper graduated from the Masters of Physiotherapy program at UBC in 2006, with an undergrad in dance from Simon Fraser University.

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Rhonda Cooper graduated from the Masters of Physiotherapy program at UBC in 2006, with an undergrad in dance from Simon Fraser University. She has since completed her FCAMPT diploma through the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, studied the Integrated Systems Model with Dr. Linda Joy Lee and Diane Lee, and completed her acupuncture certification through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute.

Rhonda has been instructing physiotherapists in advanced manual therapy techniques as a teaching assistant with the Orthopaedic Division of the CPA for the past 2 years. She has also recently instructed contemporary dance technique class at Simon Fraser University, allowing her to integrate her scientific based knowledge of human biomechanics with the art form of dance.

Having recently completed a qualitative research project investigating injury prevention and excellence in dance with funding through the Canada Council for the Arts, Rhonda is continuing to build her a scientific knowledge base for working with dance artists.

Rhonda sees her role as a physiotherapist is to facilitate the body’s natural healing process. Thorough assessment, client education, mindful exercises and modalities (such as manual therapy and acupuncture) are her approaches to treatment.

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