The Penn State Health Approach to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Therapy Services

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The rehabilitation team at Penn State Health provides the most comprehensive rehab services in central Pennsylvania. We offer everything from physical therapy and wound healing to complex care for neuromuscular disorders and specialized treatments for recovery after cancer, traumatic brain injury, heart attack, stroke and more.

As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, we offer the latest approaches and a full spectrum of therapy services. You can get leading-edge treatments before they’re widely available — methods supported by clinical research and medical innovation. We have the expertise to treat even the most complex problems. Our team develops a treatment plan that helps you live your best life.

Whether you’re living with a chronic condition, recovering from an injury or illness, or need ongoing care, we specialize in improving function and enhancing your well-being.

Complete Rehabilitation Care and Therapy Services

Our rehabilitation experts offer complete rehabilitation and therapy services for people of all ages, including kid-friendly rehab for children and adolescents. We provide inpatient rehab care, outpatient therapy, and transitional care from the hospital to your home or a nursing facility. Whether you’re recovering from injury, surgery or illness or living with a condition that affects your quality of life, we work together with you to achieve your goals.

You get personal attention and a treatment plan that’s designed just for you, drawing from the latest rehab approaches. We use sophisticated equipment, such as wearable devices that improve muscle function, and provide care in state-of-the-art rehab facilities in several convenient locations. And, we make sure you’re well-informed about your condition to prevent injuries and function at your best.

We put together a team based on your needs - from physical, occupational and speech-language therapy to a combination of approaches that help you adjust to physical and mental limitations.

Support Groups

Childhood Apraxia Support Group

Share stories and concerns with other parents whose children have been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech. The group meets quarterly at Penn State Children’s...

Share stories and concerns with other parents whose children have been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech. The group meets quarterly at Penn State Children’s Hospital room P1100 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 717-531-6807.

Amputee Support Group

This group is open to patients, families, friends and caregivers to offer support and information. It meets the first Wednesday of every other month (February...

This group is open to patients, families, friends and caregivers to offer support and information. It meets the first Wednesday of every other month (February, June, August, October and December) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, contact Michael Gray at 717-832-2600.

Brain Injury Support Group

Brain injury survivors, families and caregivers can learn about brain injury and local resources, share experiences, and support each other. The group meets the third...

Brain injury survivors, families and caregivers can learn about brain injury and local resources, share experiences, and support each other. The group meets the third Thursday of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital cafeteria. For more information, contact Melissa Carmen at 717-361-2854 or Michelle Von Arx at 717-832-2736.

Spinal Cord Injury Support Group

The Spinal Cord Injury support group is open to those with spinal cord injuries, their families and support person. The group allows an opportunity for...

The Spinal Cord Injury support group is open to those with spinal cord injuries, their families and support person. The group allows an opportunity for support, socialization and education. Please join us at Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital Cafeteria, 1135 Old West Chocolate Avenue, Hummelstown, PA 17036 every third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m.

Please contact Nancy Lokey for more information at nlokey@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Rehabilitation and Therapy Services

Central Pennsylvania families count on us for our wealth of rehabilitation and therapy services and advanced expertise.

Nationally Recognized Rehabilitation Care

Penn State Health is an area leader in providing top-quality rehabilitation and therapy services. You get leading-edge, coordinated and safe care at several area locations. Our quality recognitions include:

  • CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation as a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program
  • Top 15% national ranking by WeeFlN® for short length of stays and good patient outcomes for our inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program [link to Penn State Health Children’s Hospital Pediatric Inpatient Rehab page]
  • CARF-certified spinal cord injury care [link to Spine page]
  • Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center - the highest designation
  • Recognition by The Joint Commission and CARF as a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (CIIRP) for both adults and children

Expert, Team-Based Care Designed for You

Our rehabilitation team specializes in a full range of rehabilitation services. Our physiatrists (physical medicine and rehab doctors) work with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists, neuropsychologists, athletic trainers, nurses and others to deliver complete care.

Some of our therapists have expertise in driver’s education and training, hand therapy, pelvic floor rehab, wound care, pain management, adaptive device training, and advanced voice and swallowing therapies like Vital Stim or Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT).

We also work closely with specialists in neurology, orthopaedics, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, lung care, podiatry and more. You get personal attention and all the support you need to get the best possible results from therapy.

Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Trials

As an academic medical center, Penn State Health is continually seeking better treatments to improve people’s well-being. We conduct research in our exercise, body composition, locomotor training and gait laboratories. These studies build our understanding of illness and rehabilitation of people with conditions like stroke, spinal cord and brain injuries, cardiovascular disease, amputation, cancer, chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. We offer some of today’s most promising therapies, backed by innovative research.

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Related Services and Treatments

  • Acupressure
  • Adaptive equipment training
  • Adaptive sports and recreation
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Amputation rehabilitation and prosthetic fitting
  • Athletic training
  • Biofeedback
  • Bracing and splinting
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Disability assessments
  • Driver education and training
  • Electrodiagnostic testing for muscular disorders
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Flight physicals (Federal Aviation Administration)
  • Home safety and equipment evaluations
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • LSVT LOUD® therapy
  • Lymphedema prevention and treatment
  • Music therapy
  • Myofascial release
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain management therapies
  • Pediatric rehabilitation
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Post-cancer rehabilitation
  • Return-to-work physicals
  • Spasticity management
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Traumatic brain injury rehabilitation
  • Vestibular rehabilitation and balance training
  • Wheelchair evaluation and fitting
  • Wound care

Conditions Treated

Therapy Programs

Penn State Health’s licensed team of physical, occupational and music therapists, speech-language pathologists, certified driver rehabilitation specialists and athletic trainers are dedicated to both the science and art of rehabilitation. We work with patients of all ages, providing specialized care and customized treatment plans based on their diagnosis and goals. We help patients become independent by restoring their function and mobility and preventing future complications. Penn State Health is committed to providing the highest-quality care and serving our referring providers, while also educating the future generation of therapists through hands-on educational programs.

Athletic Training

Penn State Health’s team of certified athletic trainers have years of experience in helping athletes and performers, ranging from high school to professional, stay healthy, recover from injury and perform their best. We are the athletic trainer for the Harrisburg Heat soccer team and provide daily support to our corporate partners in the community such as Hershey Entertainment & Resorts for both full-time staff and seasonal park performers and employees. Whether you’ve experienced a concussion or have a sports-related injury, Our Penn State Health athletic trainers will design a personalized treatment plan that works best for you.

Diabetic Foot

We treat patients who have chronic or acute wounds of the foot caused by conditions ranging from diabetes to spine issues and vascular disease. To take weight off the foot, stabilize the joint or bone and improve healing, our therapy team applies a total contact cast or bivalve cast. We teach the patient how to walk safely with the cast and emphasize the importance of wearing it, while also changing dressings regularly. We also help prevent the wound or ulcer from reoccurring by having patients wear custom or regular footwear on a proper schedule.

Driver's Education and Training

Therapy Services offers a comprehensive driver evaluation and training program for individuals who have displayed difficulty driving or learning to drive due to physical, cognitive, perceptual, visual or age-related impairments. We provide an expert clinical evaluation to assess the critical skills needed to drive safely, including cognition, vision, visual scanning, reaction time, range of motion, sensation, coordination and knowledge of the driving task. Based on the results, we may then provide a behind-the-wheel evaluation to determine the need for special equipment and/or follow-up training to help the individual pass their driver’s license exam. We also provide a complete inspection of the client’s vehicle to ensure that all equipment prescribed is present and in working order.

Hand and Upper Extremity

Our Occupational Therapy staff provide assessment and treatment of individuals of all ages with diagnoses related to the upper quarter (hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder or multiple joints). Our certified hand therapists treat hand and upper extremity issues, including, but not limited to, carpal tunnel syndrome, brachial plexus injuries, tendon repairs, fractures, amputations, congenital anomalies, arthritis or joint replacements.

Music Therapy

Music therapy addresses the physical and emotional needs of pediatric patients and their families. During music therapy sessions, patients can participate in music-based interventions that have been carefully selected and presented by a board-certified music therapist. Patients may sing, play, move, listen or create during their music therapy sessions. Music therapists are part of the therapy team and work collaboratively with other members of therapy services to complement the care they provide. Our music therapists work with patients who have a variety of cultural and faith backgrounds, using music to help them stay connected to their heritage and traditions. We also have experience with non-English-speaking and nonverbal patients who enjoy using music as a common language of communication.

Neurological Rehabilitation

Our multidisciplinary team of occupational, physical and speech therapists are skilled in assessing and rehabilitating patients with neurologic impairments. We have decades of experience treating patients and providing compassionate care with one-to-one, individualized treatment. This includes, but is not limited to, patients who experience concussion, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or stroke. Our therapists also assist with physician-led clinics, such as deep brain stimulation, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis care and normal pressure hydrocephalus evaluation and treatment.

Oncology Care

Our occupational therapy staff provides exceptional cancer-related care, including a post-mastectomy program that addresses upper extremity-specific care, lymphedema prevention and treatment education, and self-care concerns related to issues associated with cancer treatments. Our lymphedema program assists patients who experience swelling following cancer of the head and or neck.

Orthopaedics

Our orthopaedic physical therapy teams treats patients with a wide range of orthopaedic conditions, from acute injuries to chronic pain, spine, headache, soft tissue or joint issues and postoperative recovery. We have years of experience in rehabilitating patients who have had total joint replacements, rotator cuff repairs and other joint surgeries. We also evaluate and treat the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine utilizing the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and treatment. Our expert staff members are skilled in myofascial release and acupressure for chronic pain. All evaluations and treatments are developed with your specific situation in mind to help you regain function and get your life back.

Pediatrics

Penn State pediatric physical and occupational therapists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of infants, children and young adults up to 18 years old with a variety of developmental, neuromuscular, orthopaedic and congenital or acquired disorders that may cause physical, emotional, behavioral or self-care limitations. Our physical therapists work with your child to improve gross motor development, mobility, balance, coordination, strength and endurance. Our occupational therapists work on improving upper extremity function, fine motor development, participation in self-care tasks such as dressing, feeding, bathing and toileting, cognitive processing and sensory integration. Our treatment plan is tailored to your child’s specific needs to help them maximize independence in all areas of life.

Pelvic Floor

Our certified pelvic floor physical therapist provides safe and effective treatment of bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction and pelvic pain from any number of problems in both males and females. Your specially trained pelvic floor physical therapist will teach you appropriate exercises and techniques to optimize bowel and bladder function and reduce pain. Treatments are provided with care to maintain your privacy, and home programs are included to supplement the therapist’s instructions.

Speech Therapy

Our skilled speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat a variety of speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice and feeding/swallowing disorders in both children and adults. We provide inpatient services at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital and outpatient care at Penn State Health Therapy Services.

Sports and Recreational Athletes

From weekend warriors to youth and professional athletes, Penn State Health’s sports medicine-trained physical therapists can help you get ready for the season or back in the game. With decades of experience, we have the skills and techniques to care for postoperative conditions and overuse injuries that limit your participation in the sport you love. As the medical provider for the Hershey Bears ice hockey team, we specialize in treating all injuries that happen on the ice. Our advanced certification from the Titleist Performance Institute enables us to treat golfers’ injuries or help them improve their swing. We use validated interventions such as Sportsmetrics to prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Whether your condition requires an exercise program or specific manual treatment, let our sports medicine-trained physical therapists help keep you at the top of your game.

Vestibular Rehabilitation and Balance Training

Our physical therapists have advanced training in treating patients with a variety of vestibular or inner-ear problems such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease, vestibular schwannoma and acoustic neuroma. We perform an initial evaluation to determine what causes your dizziness or imbalance problems, then provide individualized treatment, including canalith repositioning maneuvers, adaptation or gaze stabilization exercises, habituation movements, or balance retraining with the goal to improve your functional ability.

Wheelchair and Seating

We offer individuals of all ages who use wheelchairs a comprehensive evaluation to determine the most appropriate seating system, maximizing their comfort, pressure relief and independence. Our staff have advanced clinical expertise in treating patients who are ventilator-dependent, have spinal cord injuries, ALS or other complex neuromuscular disorders. We provide the latest equipment and therapy to help patient be mobile and healthy throughout all stages of life - from school to driving and participating in the workforce. 

Our Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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