The goal of the staff at Cedar Valley Physical Therapy (CVPT) is to restore or facilitate function and movement following an injury or other medical condition. The goal is for the patient to continue with a home exercise program and manage the continuation of his or her own recovery, thus diminishing the need to return for future therapy or medical care.

CVPT provides a wide range of services and specialties in two convenient locations. The first is a 10,000-square-foot facility at United Medical Park on West Ridgeway Avenue in Waterloo. The second facility is at the University of Northern Iowa Wellness Center and uses the HydroWorx therapy pool. The pool’s floor raises and lowers to make it easier for patients to enter for therapy and helps treat individuals who require weight-bearing rehabilitation.

Using manual mobilization, exercise, special range of motion, modalities and patient education, CVPT works with a wide variety of orthopedic acute and chronic patients. Their staff treats a large range of post-surgical conditions such as joint replacements, joint reconstructions, trauma, sports injuries, multiple spine conditions, and many other joint surgeries. Many patients also suffer weakness resulting from chronic degeneration of specific joints. CVPT helps set up specific exercise programs to help manage their conditions.

“We also have seven athletic trainers that provide coverage to area high schools,” says Ray Harrington, physical therapist. “It’s nice to have them on the field at both practices and games. They are good communicators with both parents and the injured athletes. They may have to make a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or physician in the area.”

Additionally, therapist Guia Palma is a vestibular balance specialist. There are two vestibular conditions, one caused by the central system (brain and brainstem) and one from the peripheral (inner ear and pathways to the brainstem).

“Guia is certified to work with individuals that suffer from dizziness or other vertigo problems,” Harrington says. “The number one problem with people over 60 is falling. It could be from an orthopedic weakness or a vestibular problem. If Guia can make you dizzy (in the diagnosing phase), she can make you better. She can prescribe specific body positions to correct the dizziness.” Other geriatric conditions such as arthritis or weakness can be treated as well.

CVPT also treats a wide variety of pelvic and urological conditions in both females and males. Most people are surprised to learn a physical therapist can treat symptoms of urinary urgency, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and symptoms associated with pregnancy and postpartum. Monica White is one of only three pelvic specialists in Iowa certified by the American Physical Therapy Association who has received specialized training in this area.

“We’ve developed a nice program in this area. Over the past six months, Guia and Monica have treated more than 100 patients,” Harrington says.

The treatment involves educating the patient with specific exercises on how to control the flow. If this fails, biofeedback may be an option to help in the exercise and training process to successfully treat the condition. Biofeedback is a tool that is used to help patients visualize how they are using their muscles.

“People think urination problems are a part of getting older, and they think there is no help for them,” Harrington explains. “As people age, they expect to get more out of life. If they can learn to control the issue, they are going to have a more positive outlook on life.

“There is another avenue for treating these urological conditions, and we have two people on staff who have a passion for working with these patients. They have had excellent results.”

The staff at Cedar Valley Occupational Rehab (CVOR) assists workers and companies in the area of occupational health, and performs pre-offer employment testing, which is a functional test that determines the strength of the overall body.

“It’s a matter of matching the functional lifting level of a potential employee to the job description,” Harrington says. “It’s also a way to determine if a person is functionally able to return to work after surgery or an injury. Are they producing adequate strength to be able to perform functional tasks?”

In addition, CVOR can visit actual job sites and conduct ergonomic analyses to determine the job description task level or to make suggestions on how to make a job more safe.

“We've expanded these services into the new CVOR clinic,” Harrington adds. CVOR is located at 7024 Nordic Drive, Ste. 200 in Cedar Falls.

“Our staff is constantly being trained in new evaluation, treatment, mobilization, and specific exercise techniques for an array of problems. We’re always receiving continuing education on new techniques and rehab.

“We have good communication with the physicians in our group,” he adds. “If a surgeon attends a conference and learns of new procedures or protocols, that information is forwarded to us. We can develop new protocols as they are developed on the surgical side.

“Our growth is a reflection of how we’ve served the needs of the Cedar Valley, specializing in patient care for over 30 years.”

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