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At the IMSMP, traditional rehabilitation and physical therapy services by Dr. Stephen Kanter are provided from 8am-7pm on weekdays and 9am-4pm on select Saturdays. Under unique circumstances, home visits can also be provided. Our rehabilitation services include examinations to assess and treatments to address impairments related to the musculoskeletal and neurologic systems, as well as cardiovascular and integument (skin) problems which may hinder a person's ability to be active and independent.
At the IMSMP, the primary physical therapy services include an initial examination to determine current impairments which affect one's ability to function independently. Whereas each person has different functional needs and desires, physical therapy treatments are prescribed to most effectively and safely maximize one's function. One-on-one, individualized, physical therapy treatments including therapeutic exercises (strengthening and stretching), balance training, gait training, posture re-education and other individualized neuromuscular re-education procedures are provided. Neuromuscular re-education, the cornerstone to quality neurologic physical therapy, is an intervention in which a physical therapist or occupational therapist will train a person to move efficiently using available muscles in the most optimal sequence. As part of neuromuscular re-education, fall prevention strategies and fall recovery techniques are incorporated when necessary or upon request from the patient or the family. Stander exercises for patients who are non-ambulatory is a unique therapy service offered which can help to increase mobility, decrease pain, decrease spasticity, and help manage swelling.
Our Department of Rehabilitation Services welcomed an occupational therapist in 2019 in anticipation of the Wellness Center opening this year. Along with our three physical therapists, the addition of occupational therapy services puts the IMSMP at the level of all major rehabilitation departments who treat people with multiple sclerosis. In addition, the staff will include a wellness specialist and wellness consultants such as massage therapists, acupuncture, and PT subspecialists. There will be an expansion of the current wellness offerings at the IMSMP. In addition to an exercise class, there will be many group activities to enhance one's physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. One-on-one personal training services will allow patients of all mobility levels to work toward strength and fitness goals that are beyond a traditional physical therapy program. Amongst the many unique services to be offered by the Department of Rehabilitation Services, are those offered in the new ADL (Activities of Daily Living) training spaces and balance room. The ADL training spaces offer patients and their caregivers the ability to learn to move and transfer safely within a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom environment. The Wellness Center at the IMSMP will be a place for all patients with multiple sclerosis to improve their physical and emotional health. With our dedicated staff and new resources, we look forward to welcoming IMSMP patients later this year to experience a new way to take control of their MS.
Aside from traditional physical therapy services, the clinicians in the Rehabilitation Department can assess each patient's needs for assistive devices such as canes and walkers, as well as needs for power mobility seating and wheeled mobility screenings. Patients who need a new cane or walker can be issued the product, trained in its use, and be able to go home with it without delay. This expedited equipment service allows each patient to progress toward independence in the most efficient and safe manner. For family members of patients at the IMSMP, the rehabilitation team offers transfer training and safe patient handling education. This exclusive service allows family members to be more confident in their ability to help the patient in transferring within the home or in the community (e.g. car transfers). By helping family members learn how to transfer the patient, it decreases the risk of injury to both the patient and family member. Foot drop device trials, including BioNess® Functional Electric Stimulation assessment and setting adjustments, are available as part of a physical therapy gait examination or treatment session.
Patients who can benefit from the use of a wheelchair are encouraged to be evaluated by an IMSMP physical therapist. In addition to a physical therapy evaluation, patients are assessed to determine appropriate options of wheelchairs, posture supports, and cushions that can improve one’s physical health and independence. Review of the process for ordering wheeled mobility devices and referrals that are necessary will be included as part of this service. Seating screenings are essential for anyone who has any wheeled mobility or is planning on ordering a new wheelchair or scooter in the future.
For patients who plan on modifying their living environments, Dr. Stephen Kanter is available to consult on design plans. With his knowledge of, "Universal Design" philosophies and the ADA guidelines, Dr. Kanter can help to ensure the home modifications can maximize the potential for independence.
For patients who are working with their local physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, or other physical wellness professionals IMSMP physical therapists welcome collaboration and offer consultation. This service can promote a continuity of care to ensure the best available rehabilitation interventions are being provided and rehabilitation goals to maximize function are being met. Any physical rehabilitation and wellness professional is welcome to contact an IMSMP physical therapist to discuss effective interventions for people with MS and strategies for home exercise program compliance.