Physical rehabilitation in southwest Virginia

When you have an injury or illness that requires rehabilitation, trust the professionals at LewisGale Regional Health System. We provide individualized inpatient and outpatient services to maximize independence, mobility and quality of life.

A physician referral is required for rehabilitation services. For more information about our rehab programs, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (877) 242-2362.

LewisGale Regional Health System offers state-of-the-art services and one of the largest inpatient rehabilitation programs in southwest Virginia. Additionally, we provide a variety of outpatient rehabilitation programs to help relieve pain, restore function and get you back to your full potential.

Advanced physical therapy close to home

Physical therapy and rehabilitation at LewisGale Regional Health System is comprehensive and involves education, training and support every step of the way. Patients continuously choose our providers and give us high ratings in satisfaction for our:

  • Advanced care with a personal touch—Because our program is hospital-based, you benefit from a therapy or exercise program tailored to your specific health needs.
  • Individualized treatment plans—We offer dynamic, customized and one-on-one evaluation, training, rehabilitation, physical therapy and performance enhancement programs.
  • Certified therapists working for you—Our therapists are highly skilled and certified in a variety of rehabilitation specialties, including hand therapy, lymphedema therapy, speech/language pathology and more.
  • Innovative equipment and technology—We provide VitalStim® Therapy, Bioness® and FES (functional electrical stimulation) cycle.
  • Facilities dedicated to rehabilitation care—Access to Easy Street, the real-world rehabilitation center at LewisGale Medical Center that simulates the everyday environments patients encounter when they leave the hospital.
  • Convenient locations—We boast four hospitals located in Roanoke/Salem, the Alleghany Highlands, Rockbridge County and the New River Valley. Our rehabilitation programs are easy to access no matter where you live in southwest Virginia.

Inpatient rehabilitation

LewisGale Health System offers comprehensive, personalized treatment for patients who need intense, acute therapy and nursing care in a setting that provides convenient access to the full range of services our hospital provides.

Patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation improve faster and can return home sooner than patients in other treatment settings, due to our:

  • Care and treatment under the 24-hour supervision of on-site, board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians (physiatrists)
  • Low nurse-to-patient ratios
  • Our teams of dedicated, enthusiastic, specially trained professionals who work collaboratively, meeting weekly to review the goals and care plan for each patient
  • Therapy services always provided by a skilled, licensed therapist
  • At least 15 hours per week of therapy, with intensive therapy provided at least five days each week
  • Access to Easy Street, the real-world rehab center at LewisGale Medical Center
  • Immediate access to emergency medicine

Our inpatient rehabilitation facilities are designed to help you or your loved one achieve the best possible quality of life, as quickly as possible, following your injury, illness or surgery. Our services include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech/language therapy
  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Rehabilitation social work and case management

Patient conditions we treat

We commonly treat the following conditions and diseases in an inpatient rehabilitation setting at our LewisGale Regional Health System hospitals:

  • Amputation
  • Stroke and neurological disorders
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer
  • Cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Orthopedic surgery or injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Medically complex conditions

Inpatient rehabilitation admissions

To determine if a patient qualifies for inpatient rehabilitation, a physiatrist and/or clinical rehabilitation specialist will conduct a thorough patient evaluation.

In general, a patient must require:

  • 24-hour availability of a physician trained in rehabilitation medicine
  • 24-hour rehab-trained nursing staff
  • Three hours of acute rehab therapy

Comprehensive rehabilitation therapy programs

Physical therapy (PT)

PT is used to protect, strengthen or restore muscle and motor functions. Treatments within physical therapy may include:

  • Exercise instruction
  • Gait training
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Medical device instruction
  • Pain management therapy
  • Patient education

Occupational therapy (OT)

OT focuses on improving daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating and home management. Our certified occupational therapists develop plans to help you:

  • Conserve energy
  • Improve gross and fine motor skills
  • Regain physical independence
  • Strengthen upper extremities
  • Learn to use assistive devices effectively

Vestibular therapy

Disorders of the vestibular system, located in the inner ear, may cause dizziness, vertigo or imbalance. People with vestibular disorders may also experience nausea, hearing changes, anxiety, fatigue and trouble concentrating.

With experienced specialists trained in the treatment of inner ear disorders, LewisGale Regional Health System was the first to offer a vestibular rehabilitation program in southwest Virginia.

Our specially trained and licensed physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation of each patient—assessing balance, strength, coordination and vertigo—and design a treatment program centered on that person's needs. Our goal is to address practical concerns and decrease or eliminate symptoms while improving quality of life. Treatments may include:

  • Gaze stabilization exercises
  • Balance retraining exercises
  • Ear canal repositioning to remove debris
  • Strength, flexibility and coordination exercises

Speech therapy

The speech-language pathologists at LewisGale Regional Health System assess, diagnose, treat and help prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice and swallowing. We treat patients of all ages, from infants through older adults. Our highly experienced speech/language pathologists are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

We treat the following conditions:

  • Speech and language disorders—We care for patients with a variety of needs and diagnoses, including stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), head and neck cancers, laryngectomy, dysphagia, aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria and other neurologically-based disorders.
  • Voice disorders—Patients with organic or functional voice disorders benefit from specialized assessment and therapeutic strategies. We treat patients with neurological voice disorders, such as spasmodic dysphonia.

Swallowing therapy

LewisGale Regional Health System offers the most advanced therapies available for patients with dysphagia, which means difficulty or discomfort in swallowing. Swallowing difficulties may result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, mouth or throat cancer, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, laryngectomy and several other degenerative muscular conditions.

Dysphagia is a growing medical problem, with an estimated 15 million people in the U.S. currently having this diagnosis. Nearly 75 percent of stroke survivors develop some form of dysphagia.

Traditional treatments for dysphagia have included speech therapy, patient education, swallowing exercises and diet modifications. Modified barium swallow studies (MBS) are used as tools to evaluate the swallowing mechanism. Dysphagia is often managed through the use of a feeding tube to provide adequate patient nutrition.

LewisGale Regional Health System was the first in Virginia to offer dysphagia patients an innovative treatment called VitalStim® Therapy. This has resulted in dramatic improvements in lifestyle and significant cost savings compared to traditional dysphagia treatments for many patients.

VitalStim® Therapy is a non-invasive, painless treatment that uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing. VitalStim® Therapy is FDA-approved and, in conjunction with other methods of swallowing therapy, "re-educates" the swallowing muscles.

Our trained therapists provide one-on-one VitalStim® Therapy and develop individualized, patient-specific treatment plans. We also provide training and education to patients and family members.

Meet Tim, whose quality of life was restored through VitalStim® Therapy.

Advanced treatment options

Our rehabilitation treatments and services are comprehensive and vary across our locations. We treat a wide range of conditions and offer services that include:

  • Cardiac rehabilitationWe provide comprehensive education, risk reduction and exercises to help you live better with coronary artery disease, heart failure and other chronic heart diseases.
  • Ergonomics/industrial education and training—This is used to help you understand your condition, control pain and prevent re-injury by reducing stressors of repetitive activities or tasks at work or home.
  • Lymphedema therapy—This rehabilitation therapy uses certified programs and medical-assistive devices to help restore function, reduce pain and reduce risk of infection.
  • Neurologic and low vision therapyThe only therapy-based program in southwest Virginia, we offer accredited care for conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetes and glaucoma.
  • Orthopedic and spine programsWe offer certified hand therapy, spinal cord injury programs, amputation therapies, total joint replacement rehabilitation and other methods to ease pain and improve strength and mobility before and after surgery.
  • Orthotics, assistive technology and adaptive equipment—These devices and technologies are used to help relieve pain or regain independence and include custom splints, braces and fittings for wheelchairs.
  • Pain managementThis encompasses all types of pain relief efforts, including injections, manual therapy, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, spine stabilization, ultrasound technology and heat therapy for pain from injury or disease.
  • Pelvic rehabilitation—Our specialists work to improve bladder control in men and women with personalized treatments, such as electrical stimulation, exercise and education.
  • Prevention programs—We offer fall assessments and therapies to improve strength and prevent injuries, especially if you have a condition that puts you at risk, like osteoporosis.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitationWe provide education and therapy for living better with lung and respiratory conditions, such as asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Sports injuries and prevention—Our sports medicine specialists help patients relieve joint and muscle pain and recover from surgery for knee, shoulder and ankle. We use gait training, conditioning for athletes, strength training, electrical stimulation and more.

Multidisciplinary team care

Our team is led by a physiatrist, a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, who develops your care plan. Your care comes from highly skilled and licensed healthcare professionals who work together to care for your unique needs. Your team may include:

  • Certified rehabilitation nurses
  • Physiatrists
  • Consulting physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Pastoral care chaplains
  • Social workers/case managers
  • Clinical dietitians
  • Neuropsychologists