Ryan Whelton – MSPT, DPT – Doctor of Physical Therapy

Renown physical therapist, Dr. Ryan Whelton, is the founder of Whelton Myofascial Referral Technique, a breakthrough treatment that dramatically reduces or eliminates pain in over ninety percent of people.  Dr. Whelton is currently teaching his method to other physical therapists from around the world.


Northeastern University; Doctor of Physical Therapy
Northeastern University; M.S. in Physical Therapy
Northeastern University; B.S. in Rehabilitation Science


  • Acute and Chronic Pain
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • TMJ/Jaw Pain
  • Sports Injuries (including high-level ballerinas, gymnasts, baseball, football, soccer, basketball)
  • Migraine/Tension Headaches
  • Injury Prevention in Adolescents

Veterans Hospital (Tampa, FL)

Dr. Whelton spent almost 3 years rehabilitating our nation’s veterans and active duty soldiers returning from war. He had the opportunity to rehab injuries most PTs never see in their career. Rehabilitating soldiers with orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injures, soldiers with burns, soldiers who are single and double amputees, chronic pain, cardiac rehabilitation, post surgical patients.

Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins (NBA, NHL)

Ryan worked alongside their head athletic trainers/physical therapists, at their clinic, and court-side, providing premier care for top athletes.

New England Patriots (NFL)

As an employee, he provided physical therapy to professional football players training for their upcoming season, at practice, before games, and during the Super Bowl.

College Football (Division IA, ACC)

The private physical therapist/personal trainer for the leading rusher in the history of Boston College.

NFL Draft

Trained athletes in New Orleans preparing themselves for grueling workouts and testing of the NFL combine. Dr. Whelton also trained athletes in New Orleans preparing for the NFL Draft, rehabilitating their injuries and increasing speed, strength and overall wellness.


Throughout his life he has not only been the clinician, but the patient. These experiences have given him a unique perspective on how he approaches and treats patients. He is able to better empathize with people who are in pain and/or have a disability. As a full scholarship collegiate athlete, he learned to juggle the rigors of 7.5 years of physical therapy school, with his athletic obligations, family and friends. This taught him how to create balance in his life while still striving to achieve his goals.

Outside of Work

When not at work, Dr. Whelton continues to develop and teach others his method of immediately relieving others from pain. Dr. Whelton loves spending time with his wife, Jill, and his three young children, Cameron, Grayson and Mia. He also enjoys scuba diving, yoga, running, lifting weights, fishing, golfing, skiing, meditating, Aikido, yoga, Pilates, mountain biking, traveling and spending time at the beach.



Lisandra Marino – Massage Therapist / Reflexologist

My name is Lisandra Marino. I’ve been a neuromuscular therapist for over 10 years. I graduated with honors from The Humanities Center, Pinellas Park, FL, now currently known as Cortiva institute. I’ve learned and have been certified in neuromuscular therapies, reflexology, stone massage, pregnancy massage, lymphatic drainage, decongestion of muscles, cancer massage, and relaxation therapies including aromatherapy. I’ve been privileged to work these past few years in many different settings of massage. I’ve had such a deep love for what I do physically that I also wanted to know more about the spiritual side of it. I became a Reiki master in order to truly understand not only the body, but also the mind and soul of wellness. Combining the two has truly been a powerful addition to my life and career. I started my career working at The Serenity spa in south Tampa, where I had the pleasure of working alongside a very competent and enthusiastic staff. After a few years of working in the spa industry, I felt it was time for a change. I wanted to learn more about clinical massage and use the knowledge I had acquired in neuromuscular therapies. In the last five years of my career I’ve been bestowed the opportunity to work alongside some very competent and driven individuals. I’ve worked with a few Doctors and a couple of chiropractors which have taught me a great deal not only about the health care industry, but also about bringing a new awareness to the people about wellness. In the last year I’ve begun working alongside Dr. Ryan Whelton MSPT, DPT at Sport and Spine Physical Therapy & wellness Center. He has truly opened my eyes to a new world of health. His passion and commitment to the wellness of his patients is truly inspiring and contagious. I look forward to working alongside him and learning more about his personal crusade to inspire wellness to all people he comes in contact with.

When I have some spare time on my hands I love being near the ocean, Swimming boating, water parks and cruises. I also love going to amusement parks with my kids. I’ve had season passes to Disney since they were little and now one of my girls is 18 years old and the other just turned 17. Going to Disney parks has become a special family treat that not only seems to keep us connected, but also keeps our imagination alive to the beauty all around us.



Holly Didden – AA, Lac – Diplomat in Acupunture

Holly Didden has been in practice since 1997 and is a state licensed, nationally certified and insured Acupuncture Physician trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree with the University of South Florida and her diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has maintained continual ongoing certification since 1997 with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as state licensure with fulfillment of all past and current CEU standards. Past professional affiliations/certifications have included: American Acupuncture Council, Florida State Oriental Medical Association, Fellow of the American Society of Acupuncturists, and Certified Drug Screen Collector.

A Personal Note

“My interest and clinical experience has focused extensively on the treatment of both acute and chronic pain stemming from a wide variety of causes. I am eager to be of assistance to you in your quest for relief. I promise to do my very best at all times to help you to address your concerns as quickly, simply and inexpensively as possible. It is my goal to provide positive, holistic, compassionate, quality healthcare in a convenient setting with flexible appointment times to suite your busy schedule. I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.”


In my leisure time I enjoy bike riding, playing with my 3 dogs, gardening, reading, creative writing, traveling with my husband, trying to live out my catholic faith, socializing with other couples and with family.

What I like most about working at Sport and Spine Physical Therapy and Wellness Center

I enjoy the collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment because patients benefit from our diversity of clinical expertise; and the staff benefits by the enlargement and deepening of our compassionate understanding as together we focus to meet the individual needs of the patient.



Jose Manzo – Rehab Aide

Jose Manzo was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador on July 21, 1989. He later moved to Sebastian Florida, a small fishing town in the east coast of Florida. He attended Sebastian River High where he excelled in the classroom and athletics. He attended the University of South Florida where graduated with a bachelors of science in biology. He plans on furthering his education by going to physical therapy school. This goal was born from seeing one of his cousins recover from major knee surgeries as well as having gone through his own reconstructive knee surgery. With the help of his therapist and mentor Ryan as well as everyone at the Sport and Spine physical therapy staff he has been recovering well and is looking forward to returning to playing basketball, soccer, flag football. Some other of his hobbies are going to the gym, learning to play guitar.

While rehabbing at Sport and Spine Physical Therapy for his acl reconstruction he became even more interested in the field of physical therapy. He enjoyed the friendliness and care provided by everyone and was interested in landing a job where he could learn more in detail about what it takes to be a physical therapist. Ryan invited him aboard the staff and now he is the clinical aid and very happy to be part of the wellness team at SSPTWC.



Cheri Barnes – Office Manager

Cheri Barnes serves as the Office Manager for Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Tampa, Florida. As a business professional with extensive administrative services knowledge in both the medical and marketing and advertising arena, Cheri has a passion for ensuring patients receive the help they need while maintaining the overall performance and effectiveness of the back office functions to ensure patient expectations are met from beginning to end.

Cheri was the founder and owner/operator of a successful medical transcription company on Florida’s east coast for fifteen years until a growing family afforded her the opportunity to move west and enjoy her grandchildren on a daily basis. As her grandchildren grew to school age Cheri decided to take on a new challenge in the medical field she loves and became a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) in 2010 where she worked in private duty home health care as well as rehabilitation centers.

Cheri’s assets in the medical and administrative industries provide Sport & Spine Physical Therapy with the best of both worlds when it comes to providing top notch service and care to our patients all while allowing her to continue her passion for helping others!

Cheri enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, her miniature schnauzers and still makes time to read a little, enjoy our Florida beaches, garden and occasionally share her talent for floral design with family and friends during their wedding day. Cheri’s favorite quote sums up the reason we are happy she’s joined our team and are sure you will be too…

“Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts.” – Charles Dickens





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Dennis Johnson- Yoga and Pilates Instructor

Dennis has over thirteen years experience providing world-class fitness and wellness services to thousands of satisfied clientele in the private and corporate sectors in both the New York City and Tampa Bay metro areas. He holds training certificates in personal training (NCSF), functional exercise (NYSC), group fitness instruction (AAAI), Pilates mat exercise (Stott Pilates/Yogilates, Inc.), restorative yoga (CYTA), and postural alignment (ECA). His original yoga and weight training practice started at SU in 1995 and he began teaching yoga classes in 2000. He has also studied ashtanga yoga with Sri Pattabhi Jois, power yoga with Beth Shaw and Pilates mat with Jonathan Urla in New York City (2001-2003). Dennis also speaks to local groups, including students at the University of Tampa, about improving their personal and professional lives through self-motivation, meditation, creative visualization, positive thinking and purposeful action. His unique insight and empathy for the human condition and his wide-ranging skill sets make him an excellent resource and invaluable ally in your pursuit of personal health, happiness and wellness. Through regular practice of the fitness and wellness coaching methods Dennis employs with his current clientele he can empower you to develop strength, flexibility and endurance, make positive lifestyle changes, let go of limiting habits and beliefs, reprogram and redefine yourself and enhance your overall life experience.



Jill Whelton- Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Jill has vast experience helping children with behavioral issues at home and school to children with severe psychiatric disorders for the past decade. Jill received her Bachelors of Art in Sociology and then went on to pursue her Master of Arts earning her degree in Mental Health Counseling. Her passion for helping children lead her to work at The Children’s Home Inc. in Tampa for 8 years. Before that she worked at Joshua House, a therapeutic residential facility for foster children in Lutz, FL and Sallie House, a children’s emergency shelter in St. Petersburg, FL. Her passion for helping autistic children stems from her personal experiences that have touched her own family. When Jill is not working she loves spending time with her husband, son, her parents, two sisters and her 7 nieces and nephews. Her outgoing, fun-loving personality naturally draws her to spending time talking with people while outdoors running, rollerblading, hiking, traveling and is always trying her hand at cooking up new vegetarian dishes. She also enjoys spending time and training her therapy dog,

Jill’s Specialties include:

Individual Child Counseling
Group Child Counseling
Counseling for Children on the Autism Spectrum
Family Counseling
Foster Care Adjustment Counseling for Child and Family
Crisis Management
Behavioral Management Counseling for Children in the Home or School Settings)

Please Call for Appointment Scheduling and Insurance Information


Dora – Therapy/Service Dog

Dora is a special and loved part of Sport and Spine Physical Therapy and Wellness Center. She loves meeting and greeting new people and shows this with her high energy. Dora was rescued by her owners now Ryan and Jill from the shelter after being returned twice. Dora is a certified working dog with specialty in mobility. Studies show time and time again having a dog in a medical office decreases, anxiety, blood pressure and increase serotonin in the brain. People that have worked with Dora have a more relaxed and definitely interesting therapy session.

Sit and Stay Dog Academy (Tampa, FL)

Dora spent several weeks at the training academy learning obedience, agility and becoming comfortable with persons with disabilities. After the intense training living at the academy she and her handlers Ryan and Jill Whelton has spent countless hours furthering her skills.

Outside of Work

When not working Dora enjoys spending time playing with friends in the neighborhood, playing with her toys, chasing cats around her house, going on walks, and meeting new people.