Bizwatch: New service at Vail Sports Medicine |

Bizwatch: New service at Vail Sports Medicine

Special to the DailyScott Wacker, a physical therapist at Vail Sports Medicine, is the only local specialist in "Trigger Point Dry Needling," a form of therapy that backers say can bring quick relief to injuries ranging from bad backs to chronic headaches.

Business name: Trigger Point Dry Needling at Vail Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, P.C.

Date opened: 1986.

Owner: David Honda.

Contact info:

Phone: 970-476-7510.

Support Local Journalism

Fax: 970-476-7511.


What goods or services do you provide? Physical therapy management that sets the standard for care in the valley. Vail Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, P.C. is the oldest, most established physical therapy practice in the Vail Valley.

What’s new or exciting at your place? Trigger Point Dry Needling, also called Intramuscular Stimulation. In the last year Scott M. Wacker has created a niche in the treatment technique called Trigger Point Dry Needling, which uses a tiny filament (acupuncture) needle for deactivating and desensitizing hyper-irritable spots in muscle called myofascial trigger points. The needle stimulates a local healing response and reduces the biomechanical tension of the muscle being treated. Trigger points can develop in muscles because of numerous stressors in everyday life, but they are even more likely to occur in regions that are influenced by neurological problems, namely with spine or disc dysfunction and/or nerve compression.

When muscles develop trigger points, they neurologically remain tight, causing compression of vascular, neurological, and biomechanical structures, hindering the normal function of the tissue. These trigger points are frequently overlooked as potential contributors to pain and dysfunction and can be extremely difficult to release with more classic medical management. Trigger Point Dry Needling is an effective way of releasing problematic muscles, generally improving range of motion, decreasing pain, and improving function.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Scott is currently the only Vail Valley physical therapist practicing Trigger Point Dry Needling full-time, and one of only about 500 in the United States. Vail Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is also the only clinic that offers the technique as a part of a comprehensive physical therapy program, which allows us to accept your health insurance to cover the treatments.

It is very important to understand that Trigger Point Dry Needling is not acupuncture. The distinction is that acupuncture is an ancient philosophy, and its diagnosis and practice in traditional Chinese or Oriental Medicine are not based on modern science. Trigger Point Dry Needling relies on a Western understanding of neurology and anatomy for diagnosis and a more direct treatment.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? Our clients can expect a comprehensive, compassionate view into the whole patient and his or her problem. Everybody deserves the opportunity to investigate a novel technique that has great potential to relieve painful symptoms which previously may not have responded to other forms of medical management.

A significant advantage of Trigger Point Dry Needling is the ability to more quickly and effectively treat a number of muscles in regions that are contributing to dysfunction. Scott has already performed thousands of treatments and has successfully abolished years of complaints of headaches, neck and back pain, and other chronic issues in a variety of patients and diagnoses.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Scott joined Vail Sports Medicine Physical Therapy nearly two years ago. He is a Colorado native and earned his doctorate in physical therapy from Regis University in Denver, where he is also an affiliate faculty member. Before returning to the Vail area with his wife, Megan, Scott practiced in the Denver/Boulder area.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? One of Scott’s patients was so thrilled by what Trigger Point Dry Needling had done for her, she asked if he would be willing to try it on her cat!

Support Local Journalism