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Sibley Memorial Hospital

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Specialized Programs


Cancer Rehabilitation Program

Dealing with the effects of cancer and its treatment presents many challenges. Physical rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process once treatment is over. Common issues such as loss of strength, motion, overall fitness, pain and lymphedema concerns need to be addressed.

Sibley’s comprehensive approach addresses:

  • Lymphedema prevention, education and management
  • Strength, motion and function restoration
  • Manual therapy for soft tissue mobility and joint mobility
  • Postural education
  • Return to exercise and lifestyle guidelines
  • Sport-specific and activity-specific exercise programs

Treatment plans, which are designed to help the individual reach optimal function and quality of life, are based on a thorough evaluation and discussion with the patient about his/her goals and needs.

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Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a light touch approach to releasing restrictions in the body and improving the function of the central nervous system. When the central nervous system is functioning optimally, pain and stress are naturally eliminated, resistance to disease is improved and health and well-being are enhanced. Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle manual approach and often appeals to patients who are uncomfortable with or have had a bad experience with more vigorous manipulation techniques. Craniosacral therapy can help alleviate pain and dysfunctions including migraines and headaches, TMJ, Bell’s palsy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic neck and back pain, spinal disc disorders, sinusitis, torticollis, vestibular issues, brain and spinal cord injuries, motor-coordination impairments and many other disorders.

Craniosacral therapy can be used alone or integrated with other types of physical therapy. It is an effective additional therapy to realign the body’s internal environment after surgery, cancer, a motor vehicle accident, a fall or any other incident that causes trauma to the body.

If you would like to receive craniosacral therapy at Sibley Memorial Hospital, you will need a prescription from your doctor. You will then be evaluated by a physical therapist who will create a recommended treatment plan.

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Foot Drop System

Foot Drop System

Sibley is able to offer an innovative wireless foot drop system designed for individuals seeking to improve their ability to walk normally again. This FDA-approved device uses low-level stimulation to activate the muscles that lift the foot while walking.

This treatment is intended for individuals with foot drop who are looking to increase walking speed, improve steadiness and increase confidence. In many cases, using the foot drop system may eliminate the need to raise your hip or swing out your leg while walking, or to wear a rigid ankle foot orthosis (AFO).

This therapy is effective for foot drop caused by:

  • Stroke/CVA (old or new)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Central nervous system disease
  • Trauma to central nervous system

Once a prescription is obtained from your doctor, call Sibley Outpatient Physical Therapy to make an appointment for an evaluation. Be sure to tell the receptionist that you are coming to try the foot drop system. At that time you will be seen for a complete individualized evaluation, a trial of the system and follow up recommendations based on how the system works for you.

If you have any specific questions about the system being used at Sibley, you may visit the manufacturer’s website.

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Gait and Balance

Gait and Balance Physical Therapy

One out of three adults over the age of 65 will experience a fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of serious injury in older adults and frequently result in loss of independence. Loss of balance and mobility, while not inevitable, do increase with age. Some of the symptoms of balance disorders are history of falls, loss of strength in legs and feet, trouble getting up from a chair or bed and a feeling of unsteadiness. Fall prevention and increased independence is possible with rehabilitation.

The Sibley Center for Rehabilitation Medicine has developed a comprehensive program for people with gait and balance disorders. Sibley’s state-of-the-art facility has dedicated specialists who will thoroughly evaluate your needs and customize a treatment program to reduce your risk of falling and improve your balance. Possible evaluation and intervention tools include the use of the balance systems, gait and postural analysis, strength and flexibility testing, fall prevention education and instruction of an individualized home exercise program. A physician prescription is required for the initial evaluation.

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LSVT LOUD™

Big and Loud Program

LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment for Parkinson’s disease and neurological conditions. Virtually every person (89 percent) with Parkinson’s disease will have problems with their speech that starts early in the disease process. These problems include: soft voice, mumbled speech, monotone speech and hoarse voice. Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has documented that LSVT LOUD is highly effective in correcting speech problems. The research demonstrates improved vocal loudness, improved speech intelligibility and more facial expression. Treatment is provided by speech therapists that are certified in the LSVT program.

Visit our Parkinson’s Program page for more information about LSVT LOUD.

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LSVT BIG™

LSVT BIG is a research-based exercise approach developed from principles of LSVT LOUD. The program is an intensive physical and occupational therapy exercise program for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. Research by the NIH has shown that using LSVT BIG leads to faster walking with bigger steps, better balance and increased trunk flexion. Treatment is provided by a physical or occupational therapist who is certified in the LSVT program.

Visit our Parkinson’s Program page for more information about LSVT BIG.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Sibley Memorial Hospital has recently become a Joint Commission-certified stroke center. The Sibley Center for Rehabilitation Medicine is fully equipped to meet the needs of people who have had a stroke. After a stroke, physical therapy helps restore physical functioning and skills like walking, range of movement, strength and balance. Once a prescription is obtained from your physician, a physical therapist completes a thorough evaluation and a plan of care is established based on your individual needs.

Possible interventions may include the use of the warm water therapeutic pool, gait analysis and training, neuromuscular reeducation, advanced balance training, use of a foot drop system, strength and stretching instruction on state of the art gym equipment and progressive home exercise instruction. The patient, as well as the patient’s family, will be actively involved in goal setting to individualize care and assist in the patient’s optimal recovery.

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Vestibular Physical Therapy

It is estimated that five million people each year visit their physicians’ offices with reports that vertigo/dizziness is seriously affecting their ability to work or enjoy leisure activities. Vertigo, often described as a sensation that the “world is spinning,” can be caused by a number of factors and can lead to falls and inactivity.

The Sibley Center for Rehabilitation Medicine offers treatment to individuals with vertigo by trained specialists in vestibular dysfunction. With a prescription from your physician, the physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to help determine the cause of your vertigo or dizziness. Based on the findings during the evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be developed. Treatment interventions may include exercises to strengthen the vestibular system and ocular motor muscles, repositioning techniques as needed and education in a comprehensive home exercise program.

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Women’s Health: Continence and Pelvic Floor Disorders

Women of all ages suffer from pelvic floor disorders. Symptoms are varied but the most common is urinary incontinence. Others who could benefit from the program include women who experience pre- and postpartum issues, pelvic floor weakness, pelvic organ prolapse, interstitial cystitis and pelvic floor pain. An individualized program is formulated to meet each woman’s needs. Muscle reeducation may be achieved using biofeedback, electrical stimulation and therapeutic exercise. You will be evaluated and treated by specially trained physical therapists who have the knowledge and skill to treat pelvic floor dysfunction and are sensitive to the needs of their patients.

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