Departments & Services
All patients and staff are treated with dignity, respect and kindness. The Department is committed to staff, community and patient education and to sharing our specialized knowledge and skills with patients, families and the medical community.
Outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy services are provided in a team-oriented approach for adults and children with:
- Traumatic brain injury, post-stroke, other neurological problems
- Injuries to the arm, shoulder, or hand
- Difficulty with daily activities
- Difficulty with speaking or swallowing
- Balance and dizziness problems
- Lymphedema Program (Read about our Certified Lymphedema Specialist)
- Pediatric Services
- Other physical and cognitive disabilities
Evaluation and Treatment for Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing can be objectively evaluated by using Videofluoroscopic swallow study (Modified Barium Swallow exam).
This is done in the Diagnostic Imaging area with a speech therapist and radiologist present. The procedure involves providing the patient with different textures of barium mixed with liquids and solid foods to swallow. The swallow physiology is viewed by the radiologist and speech therapist and they then can identify problems, if they are present such as aspiration, which is when food or liquid enters the airway. If a problem is identified appropriate recommendations can be made for swallowing safely and if necessary a recommendation for outpatient swallow therapy can be initiated.
Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular stimulation (DPNS)
A therapeutic program that restores the pharyngeal reflexes for efficient swallow function.
This is a technique in which the musculature is stimulated in a progressive manner which has been shown to have a dramatic effect upon restoring swallow function. It is used in cases where decreased muscle strength and or delayed timing of the swallow is problematic. It is indicated for patients with swallowing problems due to (but not limited to) stroke, nerve injury, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and neurogenic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
A gentle hands on treatment in which muscles and other soft tissues of the head, neck and face are mobilized by a therapist to improve swallowing.
Therapists are trained in techniques which may include joint mobilization, myofascial release, and muscle energy. The goal is to restore joint and soft tissue mobility which is necessary for swallowing. People with head and neck cancer, particularly following radiation therapy, benefit greatly from these techniques. It can also be indicated for patients with vocal fold paralysis due to stroke, injury or any neck surgeries, bells palsy, and traumatic brain injury.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage/Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT)
Lymphedema is a chronic disease for which there is no known cure. However, effective treatment does exist and long-term management of the disease is possible.
Therapy is available to decrease edema which can then be maintained through a home program. This is called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Treatment is unique to each individual, based on individual needs and goals.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) Consists of:
- Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) – A gentle, non-invasive manual treatment to improve the activity of the lymphatic system and re-rout lymph flow around blocked areas.
- Compression Bandaging – The application of short stretch bandages over effected areas to assist in fluid return and breakdown of scar tissue
- Therapeutic Exercises – Exercises are performed with bandages or support garments on to increase venous and lymphatic return.
- Skin and Nail Care and Infection Prevention
- Instruction in Self-Care – Includes instruction in skin and nail care, infection prevention, lifestyle modification, self-bandaging, compression garment use, exercise, self-MLD, and need for follow-up treatment.
- Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (VitalStim Therapy): This is a safe, effective FDA approved method used to promote improved swallowing. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) is applied to the muscles used for swallowing in order to strengthen and reeducate the muscles and improve control of the swallowing mechanism. This is done in conjunction with other techniques including exercises, DPNS, and eating foods of challenging textures according to the individual’s areas of difficulty