“The one-on-one attention we give, we really focus on that,” said Dennis Eickhoff, a licensed physical therapist with Bethesda. “We want to give that individualized attention, and tailor the treatment program specific to the client.”
Bethesda’s physical therapists specialize in the treatment of joint replacements, chronic back and neck pain, rotator cuff repair, sports injuries, pain associated with arthritis, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s, and balance issues – including falls. They do all of this with the goal of providing superior service and helping clients restore movement and regain quality of life.
October is designated as National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of physical therapy – which include improving mobility, managing pain and other chronic conditions, and recovering from injury, as well as preventing future injury and chronic disease.
Bethesda’s physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals, who have more than 100 years of combined experience. They work with people of all ages who come from across West Central Minnesota.
“We offer outpatient therapy services to people in the Willmar community, as well as to our Bethesda residents,” Eickhoff said. “Doctors and clinics refer people here for outpatient physical therapy because Bethesda is an ideal location. We offer a full range of services, as well as the warm-water therapy pool. We receive a lot of referrals just based on the pool, which is ideal for people with chronic pain issues such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or joint pain.”
In addition to outpatient therapy, Bethesda physical therapists also provide in-home therapy visits as part of Bethesda’s home healthcare program. Through Bethesda at Home, therapists provide restorative therapy after surgery, stroke or illness so patients don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home to receive therapy.
“Home health care is one of the fastest growing parts of therapy,” Eickhoff said. With changes in insurance and Medicare coverage, more people are sent home sooner after surgery to recover at home.
“We’ve seen an uptick in home health care therapy, and I think home health care will continue to grow,” he said. “Nothing against Bethesda, it’s a beautiful place, but people want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. And there’s the convenience factor: We can come to you, so you don’t have to leave home for therapy, if you have pain or if you’re at risk of falling.”
Physical therapy is not just for rehabilitation – it also is used to help prevent future injury such as improving balance to prevent falls. In some circumstances, physical therapists can help people prevent the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription medications through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.
“There’s rehabilitation, and there’s pre-habilitation – stretching and doing strength exercises to prevent injuries. We can identify biomechanical issues beforehand to prevent injuries from happening,” Eickhoff said. “That’s why we do balance assessment. If you can’t let go of your walker or you’re going to fall, that’s something we should be working on. Physical therapy has a lot of screening tools that we can use to identify the potential for an increased risk of injury.”
Treatment options at Bethesda include a state-of-the-art fitness center, BioDex Balance testing and training, and the warm-water therapy pool with a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
“Bethesda has grown so much. It is such a fantastic organization. The commitment they have to senior health and wellness in this town is just unbelievable. They’ve anticipated needs. They’ve really done a good job,” Eickhoff said.
If people need help obtaining a doctor’s referral to Bethesda, contact Bethesda’s Outpatient Therapy, and staff will help with it.
To schedule a free balance assessment, or to make a therapy appointment, call (320) 214-5619. To learn more about Bethesda’s outpatient therapy program, click here to go to the outpatient therapy page on our website.