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New Ulm Medical Center

Physical therapy can help you recover, avoid injury and enjoy better health

October is National Physical Therapy Month, so there’s no better time to see how physical therapy at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – New Ulm can help you enjoy better health.

You may notice the name change. Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute merged with Courage Center on June 1, 2013. The goal of the merger is to create a streamlined approach that makes it easier for patients to get coordinated rehabilitation care and services.

At the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at New Ulm Medical Center, physical therapy services run the gamut from injury prevention and aquatic therapy to sports medicine and rehabilitation after cancer, stroke, or spinal-cord injury — and lots more, said Deb Beatty, PT, manager at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health. The therapists at Courage Kenny take care of patients from birth to end of life.

One goal of physical therapy is to educate a person on how to care for an injury and prevent future injuries. “We spend a lot of time talking about prevention and helping people get strong enough to avoid a second, third, or fourth injury to the same area of the body,” said Beatty.

For example, someone with an ankle sprain who does not fully rehab the injury may feel better after they heal and resume their previous activities; however, they may be more susceptible to re-injury. “They may feel better,” said Beatty, “but they may be lacking in strength, balance, and possibly mobility.”

Physical therapists’ training is now at a clinical doctorate degree level. In their training they study prevention and wellness in addition to the traditional treatment strategies. Physical therapists emphasize exercise and self management of illness or injury during treatment with the goal of having our patients independently managing their condition, said Beatty.

At Courage Kenny, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants provide care in the hospital and at outpatient clinics in New Ulm and Winthrop. They also work in settings such as home health care, nursing homes, schools, and worksites, said Beatty.

Beyond injury treatment and prevention of orthopedic injuries or treatment after stroke or other neurological conditions, Courage Kenny has therapists specially trained and certified who can help with management of lymphedema (a condition that involves swelling), cancer survivor care, and orthopedics, said Beatty. These are programs which require extra training and testing on the part of the physical therapist.

“In addition, we also have therapists with extensive specialty training in women’s health incontinence care, balance and vestibular (inner ear) care, and pediatrics,” she said.

The nine physical therapists and four physical therapist assistants at Courage Kenny have more than 225 combined years of experience.

For more information about the Courage Kenny physical therapy services at New Ulm Medical Center, go to www.newulmedicalcenter.com.