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RiverView Health's Rehab Services Department offers a variety of services for specific issues. Below are just some of the special services offered. For more information on any of these services, please contact Rehab Services at 218.281.9463.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

A Matter of Balance classes help participants learn to:

  • View falls and fear of falling as controllable.
  • Set realistic goals for increasing activity.
  • Change their environment to reduce fall risk factors.
  • Promote exercise to increase strength and balance.

Designed to benefit community-dwelling older adults who:

  • Are concerned about falls.
  • Have sustained a fall in the past.
  • Restrict activities because of concerns about falling.
  • Are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength.
  • Are age 60 or older, ambulatory and able to problem solve.

Astym Treatment

Astym treatment is known for setting the standard in soft tissue therapy. As the only regenerative medicine approach in physical/occupational therapy, it consistently resolves many frustrating musculoskeletal cases. Astym is performed using a variety of instruments that initiate a healing response. This technique can only be provided by an Astym-certified clinician.

Learn more about Astym treatment.

Fast ForWord

Fast ForWord is a computer program that targets the root cause of reading challenges. The program includes activities that help improve memory, attention, processing skills, language and phonological awareness skills. Fast ForWord is a great tool for children who have dyslexia, specific learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, auditory processing disorders, specific language impairment or autism. The Fast ForWord intervention provides different series of exercises to use depending on the child's reading level and age.

  • Fast ForWord Language and Literacy Series: These programs focus on the brain’s ability to process, discriminate and identify sounds. It also promotes grammar, listening comprehension and vocabulary.
  • Fast ForWord Reading Series: This series builds pre-reading and reading skills. This improves phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, spelling, punctuation and reading comprehension.
  • Fast ForWord Reading Assistant: This is a tool that uses speech recognition technology to help children as they read aloud to build fluency and reading comprehension skills.


What is Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT)? ImPACT™ is a computerized exam that is given to student athletes before a season begins. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration. It also helps determine safe return to play and learning.

ImPACT comes in two forms:

  • Baseline test: Gathers results of how the brain is functioning in its normal state. It is recommended to be completed every two years for brain growth and development.
  • Post-injury test: Administered after a concussion is suspected.

Learn more about the ImPACT program.


LSVT LOUD® and LSVT BIG are effective treatment approaches for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurological conditions. These two programs are completed by trained occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists. Together, these therapists will often complete the program as a team in order to work with the client on a more holistic approach.


LSVT LOUD® is provided by speech therapists certified in the treatment approach. Published research data supports improvements in vocal loudness, intonation, and voice quality for individuals with PD who received LSVT LOUD, with improvements maintained up to two years after treatment. Recent research studies have also documented the effectiveness of this therapy in improving the common problems of disordered articulation, diminished facial expression and impaired swallowing. Additionally, two brain imaging studies have documented evidence of positive changes in the brain following administration of the therapy.

LSVT LOUD improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a systematic hierarchy of exercises. Focused on a single goal "speak LOUD!"—the treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize speech intelligibility.


LSVT BIG® is provided by physical and occupational therapists certified in the treatment approach. There has been documentation of both the long term and short term improvements when utilizing the LSVT BIG approach. Specifically, the LSVT BIG training is driven by both intensive and complex exercises, with the focus of the exercises being on high intensity, amplitude, and calibration.

The goal of LSVT BIG is to increase the amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with PD. Therefore decreasing the amount of tremors and shuffling and improving trunk rotation and gait. The program has also been generalized to improve speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and quality of life. In addition, people were able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task. With these goals in mind, this type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema is swelling of a body part, most often the extremities, but can occur in the face, neck, trunk, abdomen or the genital area. Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the superficial tissues, which can have significant pathological and clinical consequences for the patient if left untreated. Once present, this chronic and progressive condition will not disappear by itself.

Lymphedema therapy is a treatment approach provided by specially trained therapists certified in lymphedema. It is provided by physical and occupational therapists. Once the diagnosis of lymphedema is confirmed, the patient is referred for treatment. Treatment consists of four components: manual lymph drainage, graduated compression garments, therapeutic exercise and skin care. The goal of therapy is to reduce the swelling and maintain the reduction. Since there is no cure for lymphedema and it will progressively worsen if left untreated, it is important for patients to be treated by a trained therapist.

Postural Restoration (PRI)

Human bodies are not symmetrical. We know some of us have one foot larger than the other; our liver is in the right low abdomen and balanced out by our heart in the upper left chest; and the right half of our diaphragm is larger and stronger than the left side. The hemispheres of the brain, nerves, lungs, blood vessels, muscles and vision systems are not equal from side to side. Each structure is part of a system and these systems each have unique demands and distinctive functions, and are in differing positions. For example, our left brain controls the right side of the body and is the primary area for communication and speech. This causes us to use our right arm more than our left when we are talking and gesturing.

The design of the human body is meant to be asymmetrical—it functions best when these asymmetries are balanced during movement. For example, when we walk, our right arm swings forward to balance our left leg as it goes forward—that's balanced reciprocal asymmetry at its best. When our systems become overused and dominated by one pattern, our bodies begin to compensate. Weakness, pain, and difficulty with movement/activity begins and builds over time. Our bones and muscles become restricted and cannot move in their normal patterns. This may happen gradually over many years or could happen in just a few weeks. Imbalances or asymmetry in our bodies may cause us to fall into patterns that negatively impact our muscles and alignment.

Postural Restoration® (PRI) is a highly successful treatment approach for problems that may arise from this sort of imbalance. PRI-trained specialists take the entire body into consideration to determine what might be causing the problem. A PRI-certified therapist figures out what type of adaptations you have made to cope with your symptoms and the asymmetrical patterns your habits have caused that are likely the underlying source of your pain, instability, weakness and dysfunction. The main focus of the treatment is in identifying and correcting typical patterns found in the human body.

PRI treatment is an integrative and holistic approach. Besides using very specific exercises, manual techniques and postural recommendations for our patients, we often utilize other professionals to address issues outside the scope of our practice that may be limiting the success of our treatment. This is because PRI integrates the influence of muscle, skeletal alignment, breathing, arch support, dental occlusion and vision on health and wellness. We will often work with your podiatrist, dentist and even optometrist to be fully successful. PRI-trained therapists understand the direct relationship that these different professions have on postural alignment, and how that can affect the musculoskeletal system and physical therapy outcomes.

Learn more about postural restoration.

Sequential Oral Sensory Approach (SOS)

The SOS approach is a rehabilitative program used for problem feeders. Often, parents and caregivers of children who will not eat are faced with a difficult and puzzling challenges. Therefore, the goal of the program is to increase the child's comfort level by exploring and learning about the taste, texture, smell and consistency of food. The therapists who use this program were trained by Dr. Kay Toomey, who developed this approach. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him or her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods. This program uses a team approach to assess the "whole child." The occupational therapist trained will assess the following: organ systems; muscles; development; sensory processing; oral-motor skills; learning, behavior and cognition; and nutrition and the environment. Assessing these different areas, the occupational therapist will be able to develop a holistic view of the child in order to best address his or her needs.

Video swallow study

A video fluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) uses a form of real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy to evaluate a patient's ability to swallow safely and effectively. The exam is typically well-tolerated and noninvasive, and can help identify the consistencies of liquid and food that a patient can most safely consume.

What it tells us:

  • If food is going into your airway instead of your stomach, called aspiration.
  • Which parts of your mouth and throat may not be working well.
  • What kinds of food are safest for you to swallow.
  • If certain positions or strategies help you swallow better.

Functional Dry Needling

Functional Dry Needling is an inexpensive service that provides pain relief, faster recovery from injury, optimized sports performance, and helps prevent issues from becoming chronic.

Dry needling is a safe, effective treatment involving needles the same size as those used in acupuncture. During treatment, needles are inserted along a patient’s trigger points — the tight bands of tissue within a muscle — to promote the body’s healing mechanisms. The practice loosens stiff muscles, eases joint pain, and improves blood flow and oxygen circulation within the body.

The needles are single-use, fine, short, stainless steel needles that do not inject fluid into the body. That is why the term “dry” is used. The needles help release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms.

In addition to relieving muscular pain and stiffness, easing the trigger points improves flexibility and helps increase the range of motion; this is why the method is often used to treat sports injuries and even fibromyalgia pain.

Relief from the following issues can also be achieved with dry needling:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Knee pain
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis

Blood Flow Restriction

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is an advanced form of strength training and muscle building. It utilizes a compression sleeve, like a blood pressure cuff, to challenge the muscles metabolically. This metabolic challenge allows the patient to have significant gains in strength and muscle size with little physical work. It also has the added benefit of helping with bone growth, tendon repair, muscle healing, and cardiovascular capacity by changing the metabolic environment in which the muscles work.

BFR can be used to prevent the muscle size and strength loss that would typically occur after an injury. It is an excellent tool for patients who have a limited weight-bearing status, limited tolerance for lifting weights due to pain, and athletes who are looking to quickly return to their sport.

Evidence shows BFR training can boost athletic training and may help patients with chronic pain or other conditions build muscle more easily.