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Work Ready for Brain Injury Program

Saint Paul Industrial Rehabilitation Team

After extensive rehabilitation, are you at a plateau, struggling to perform work activities or figure out next steps for return to work?

At Saunders, we provide a supportive, structured environment where we gradually expose you to the common stressors people with brain injury encounter in the work environment. These can include difficulty with light or sound, visual disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and physical challenges.

Regain Function and Return to Work with Saunders!

Saunders Therapy Centers’ Work Ready Program is just like our Work Hardening program – but adapted for you. In a nutshell, Saunders’ Work Ready program is simply Work Hardening that goes at your own pace, and also addresses the specific challenges you might be facing with sensory or task sequencing problems. 

What Can I Expect?

At Saunders, your program will be CUSTOMIZED. We perform a 2-hour, comprehensive evaluation to determine your strength, function, and readiness for work. We then work WITH YOU to determine the ideal program.

We gradually increase exposure to those frustrating combination of circumstances that are getting in the way of returning to work.  The activities you’ll do, the length and duration of each session, and the overall length of the program will be unique for your circumstances.

Work Ready for Brain Injury Team

We know it’s hard to increase physical stamina if you’re struggling to tolerate light or sound.

Work Hardening – What Exactly Will I Do?

Most people who are referred for Work Hardening have physical barriers that prevent them from reaching their work goals. Examples of these are stiffness, weakness, poor balance, or poor endurance….

What is the Work Hardening Evaluation?

Before beginning the program, each client participates in a 2-hour evaluation. We obtain a thorough injury history, work history, psychosocial screening and baseline functional assessment covering lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying,…

Realistic, Experienced, Non-Biased, Compassionate Treatment

Post COVID-19 Rehabilitation

Saunders Maple Grove Clinic

Very little has been written about the rehabilitation needs of Covid-19 survivors after a long hospital stay or complications from the disease. Covid-19 can affect multiple body systems, including cardiac, neurological, and cognitive, and can cause mental health concerns and severe deconditioning.

Some people struggle returning to function after recovery from Covid-19. It can be difficult for patients to return to optimal activity because they don’t know how start or how to progress. Frustratingly, it’s easy to over-do exercise or activities without guidance, even if you were used to vigorous exercise before your illness. Our staff is uniquely positioned to help you regain as much function as possible, while following appropriate precautions to ensure your safety. Our approach entails:

Saunders Maple Grove Clinic

  • Cardiovascular endurance training – we start slow and progress as tolerated
  • Progressive, graded exposure to difficult activities/tasks – the key is adding a little at a time, with professional monitoring
  • Balance, coordination training – we are finding that many patients struggle with this, and we have many exercises and activities to challenge balance and coordination JUST ENOUGH, but not too much
  • Monitoring of vitals (e.g., O2, pulse, respiration, blood pressure) – we will monitor you closely to ensure good tolerance
  • Coaching on fear-avoidance; coaching on stress reduction strategies – fear and stress are a natural part of the recovery process for many of our patients
  • Other customized activities to meet identified needs (e.g., work simulation or modification/practice of activities of daily living)

Before beginning a rehabilitation program, we perform a thorough evaluation to ensure a good baseline and establish a safe program geared toward meeting YOUR SPECIFIC GOALS. We work with your physician as needed and send regular updates about your progress.

FAQs About Saunders’ Post Covid-19 Rehabilitation Programs

Q: Does my insurance cover Post Covid-19 Rehabilitation?
A: Most insurance plans cover physical therapy for functional problems like strength, endurance, pain, and cardiovascular/pulmonary problems, and these are the problems we would be treating. We can help you determine your insurance coverage if you call.

Q: Do I need a physician referral for treatment of Post Covid-19 symptoms?
A: While most insurances do not require a physician referral to start physical therapy we will verify your insurance coverage and their requirements. Please contact us to learn more. 

Q: Why is Saunders Therapy particularly well-suited for Post-Covid rehabilitation?
A: Prior to the pandemic, Saunders Therapy Centers specialized in progressive, graded exposure to painful or problematic activities, and customized training to improve function. We are experts at maximizing function. We have a large gym with a variety of exercise and job simulation equipment, with a great staff eager to help you get back to your best function. We are used to (and skilled at) working with clients with multi-factorial issues – not just a single body part.

Q: What can I expect in the evaluation?
A: At a minimum, your functional evaluation will include joint and muscle range of motion and strength testing, balance assessment, and exercise capacity assessment with a 6-minute walk test to establish a baseline. If your illness was work-related or involves significant work-related deficits, job-specific functional testing may be done. In some cases, a Work Hardening Program may be indicated.

Q: What type of treatment plan can I expect?

A: Most patients can reach full benefit by attending physical therapy sessions 2-3x/week, where you will work on a progressive program in our large gym, plus supplement in-clinic activities with a customized home exercise program. We can work with you on YOUR preferred schedule. Some people like infrequent visits and perform most of their exercises/activities at home, while others prefer (and need) more supervision with more frequent visits. You can expect to be followed by your therapist team for up to 6-8 weeks, depending upon your individual circumstances.

 

Neck Pain Treatment

Saunders Therapy Centers clinicians are experienced in treating the complexity of the spine and provide effective, case-specific management of acute and chronic neck (cervical spine) problems. Neck pain is often accompanied by headache, arm, or lower back pain. We are skilled at connecting the dots – your evaluation and treatment plan will address all the related symptoms, and you’ll be on the road to recovery in no time.

Our Process

Musculoskeletal Evaluation: Our consultation starts with a thorough exam that includes an assessment of your posture, muscle flexibility and strength, spinal symmetry, and a neurological assessment.

Treatment: Your individual plan of care may include hands-on techniques to restore spinal symmetry and normal joint motion, reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility, and restore myofascial mobility.

Functional re-training will help normalize posture and body mechanics, correct faulty movement patterns, and strengthen the deep core muscles of the cervical spine. 

When is Neck Pain Serious?

Neck pain is usually non-serious and resolves within 2-6 weeks. Rarely, neck pain should be considered an emergency, or needs further treatment before seeing a physical therapist. Here are some situations where you should seek immediate medical attention:

What Causes Neck Pain?

Cervical spine pain can be the result of a single event or trauma, or the result of a combination of factors including poor posture, declining physical fitness, and/or repetitive activities, including faulty lifting, bending, or twisting. Previous injury and family history may also be a contributing factor.

Therapy For Neck Pain

Physical therapists can immediately decrease neck pain with manual therapy, myofascial techniques, postural training, and restoring muscular length and strength through specific exercise.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Saunders clinicians use sophisticated techniques to treat all disorders of the musculoskeletal system: bones, joints, muscles, nerves and connective tissues. We use hands-on techniques to promote pain relief and improved function. We are experts at detecting movement disorders and muscular imbalances, which are often the root cause of many orthopedic conditions – especially the problems that last a long time or keep coming back. Our focus is on long-term resolution of symptoms and self-management to decrease costs and encourage independence.

Good Orthopedic Physical Therapy Treatment Involves Manual Therapy, Exercise, and Education

Injury is inevitable – few people avoid any musculoskeletal pain during their lifetimes. Our focus is on helping your injury heal properly with good strength, range of motion, and balance, so that reinjury is less likely. Even if you need surgery for your condition, high quality post-surgical rehabilitation is key.

We won’t let your body heal stiff or weak, and will guide you in the first few weeks after your procedure to make sure you are adhering to safe guidelines for recovery.

You will find our clinical approach refreshing, compared to many PT clinics. You will see the same physical therapy team each visit. This results in fewer overall visits, since time is not wasted with inefficient progression of your treatment plan. Many of our patients have been to other clinics and tell us that our approach is much preferred. We pride ourselves on developing individualized plans of care – your hands-on care and exercise program will be unique. If you have been disappointed with your care in the past, or have given up favorite activities because of pain – give Saunders Therapy Centers a try.

 

 

Functional Capacity Evaluation

The Most Comprehensive Functional Capacity Evaluation in Minnesota

Saunders Therapy Centers’ evaluation is 3 days, 18 hours long!

Saunders’ mission is to identify and maximize the work-related functional abilities of those injured on the job. Communication is a hallmark of our service. We work closely with the client, physician, Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor (QRC), case manager, insurance adjuster, and employer to fully understand the unique requirements of each case.

Each of our clinics has a large gym area and equipment that allows us to perform unique FCEs, with the ability to simulate job-related activities for nearly any occupation. The clinicians who provide our FCE services are specially trained and very experienced. They understand industry, the workers compensation system, and the unique needs for evaluating clients with work-related injuries.

In addition to FCEs, we offer comprehensive services for injured workers, including work hardening and work conditioning.

FCE_functional_capacity_evaluation_client

Saint Paul Industrial Rehab Team Members

Our Method

We have found that the best way to evaluate a person’s endurance is to observe our clients in a work-like environment for multiple hours and days. Therefore, Saunders Therapy Centers’ FCE is three days long. After a 2-hour baseline assessment, during which we determine maximum capabilities, each client returns for 2 consecutive days of endurance testing, 8 hours per day.

We spend a great deal of time prior to every FCE to make sure we understand the purpose. The activities tested during the two, 8-hour  days are often very specific to a particular job. We can also perform a more generic FCE if no particular job goal is identified or we are being asked to identify general abilities. Our Functional Capacity Evaluation is appropriate for all types of injuries.

Advantages to the Saunders FCE include:

  • Customized activity selection results in highly relevant, valid results.
  • True endurance capabilities observed – no extrapolation.
  • Referral sources love our reports – Detailed description of evaluation goals, activities performed, and clear, non-ambiguous recommendations.

Realistic, Experienced, Non-Biased

Work Hardening at Saunders Therapy Centers

Regain Function and Return to Work with Saunders!

Saunders Therapy Centers’ mission is to identify and maximize the work-related functional abilities of those injured on the job. Communication is a hallmark of our service. We work closely with the client, physician, Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor (QRC), case manager, insurance adjuster, and employer to fully understand the unique requirements of each case.

Each of our clinics has a large gym area and equipment that allows us to evaluate work-related function and simulate job-related activities for nearly any job. We have excellent staff at all three locations – Bloomington, Maple Grove, and Saint Paul. The clinicians who provide these services are specially trained and very experienced. They understand industry, the workers compensation system, and the unique issues involved in work-related injuries. In addition to Work Hardening, we offer functional capacity evaluations (FCE).

Meet the Work Hardening Teams at Each Location

  Firefighter Work Hardening

“They are so good, I’ll probably never see them again! Beth, Cole, Caroline and the rest of the staff were extremely helpful and cheerful. They monitored my recovery and designed the program to meet the very specific needs of my job.” – Testimony from Luis

What is Unique about Saunders’  Work Hardening Programs?

At Saunders, your program will be CUSTOMIZED. We perform a 2-hour, comprehensive evaluation to determine your strength, function, and readiness for work. We then work WITH YOU to determine the ideal program. The activities you do, the length and duration of each session, and the overall length of the program are unique for your circumstances.

Work Hardening – What Exactly Will I Do?

Most people who are referred for Work Hardening have physical barriers that prevent them from reaching their work goals. Examples of these are stiffness, weakness, poor balance, or poor endurance….

What is the Work Hardening Evaluation?

Before beginning the program, each client participates in a 2-hour evaluation. We obtain a thorough injury history, work history, psychosocial screening and baseline functional assessment covering lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying,…

Realistic, Experienced, Non-Biased, Compassionate Treatment

Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Pelvic Pain Education

Individuals of all genders can suffer from aggravating or painful symptoms of the pelvic floor and related structures. Many people don’t realize that physical therapy is an option. The pelvic floor is made of muscles and tendons, and is an integral part of the musculoskeletal system, providing support to your vital organs, back and hips. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be the cause of many painful and annoying disorders.

Our Process:

Evaluation: Listening to your story is our top priority. A complete understanding of your symptoms and experience will guide our examination. A pelvic health exam may include a functional movement and posture assessment, range of motion and muscle strength testing, and soft tissue evaluation. Our pelvic health therapists can perform an internal pelvic floor muscle exam for all genders if appropriate and with your informed consent.

Treatment: Our treatment plans are built around your unique goals. We utilize many treatment strategies to ensure your physical therapy is completely customized to you. This can include guidance on current habits that influence the pelvic floor, toileting strategies, pain relieving techniques, stretching and strengthening therapeutic exercises, and manual therapy. We can perform biofeedback for assisting pelvic floor muscle coordination.

Patients often find a major improvement in quality of life after consultation with our physical therapists. At Saunders Therapy Centers, our experts can see you in any of our clinics – St. Paul, Bloomington, or Maple Grove.

Frequently Asked Questions About Saunders Pelvic Health

Pelvic Pain Education

Physical Therapy for Incontinence

Several types of incontinence can be helped with physical therapy techniques that can include myofascial treatment, biofeedback, and other interventions.

Back Pain Treatment

Man with Lower Back Pain

Saunders Therapy Centers physical therapists are experienced in treating the complexity of the spine and provide effective, case-specific management of acute and chronic back pain. Back injuries can be the result of a single event or trauma, or the result of a combination of factors including poor posture, declining physical fitness, and/or repetitive activities, including faulty lifting, bending, or twisting. Previous injury and family history may also be a contributing factor.

Back pain problems can be confused with, or related to, hip and leg pain, weakness, or numbness. Our clinicians are skilled at differential assessment and can treat most of these conditions with physical therapy. Try physical therapy before resorting to expensive tests and procedures!

Our Process

Musculoskeletal Evaluation: Our consultation starts with a thorough exam that includes an assessment of your posture, muscle flexibility and strength, spinal symmetry, and a neurological assessment.

Treatment: Your individual plan of care may include hands-on techniques to restore spinal symmetry and normal joint motion, reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility, and restore myofascial mobility.

Functional re-training will help normalize posture and body mechanics, correct faulty movement patterns, and strengthen the core muscles of the low back, hips, and entire spine. 

Man with Lower Back Pain

Therapy For Back Pain

Physical therapists can immediately decrease lower and mid back pain with manual therapy, myofascial techniques, postural training, and restoring muscular length and strength through specific exercise.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can be the result of a single event or trauma, or the result of a combination of factors including poor posture, declining physical fitness, and/or repetitive activities, including faulty lifting, bending, or twisting. Previous injury and family history may also be a contributing factor.

When is Back Pain Serious?

Back pain is usually non-serious and resolves within 2-6 weeks. Rarely, back pain should be considered an emergency, or needs further treatment before seeing a physical therapist. Here are some situations where you should seek immediate medical attention:

Vestibular Physical Therapy for Dizziness and Balance, Falls Prevention

Falls Prevention

Saunders physical therapists perform a detailed evaluation that can help distinguish between the many potential causes of dizziness (vertigo), balance problems, and related symptoms like nausea and light-headedness. At its best, vertigo is extremely annoying. At its worst, it can lead to a serious fall.

Problems other than dizziness can contribute to the risk of falls, particularly in older individuals. Weak hip, leg, and core muscles, decreased mobility, and symptoms related to orthopedic or neurologic conditions can cause instability. Reduced activity in the community due to Covid-19 has increased frailty among the elderly. At Saunders Therapy Centers, we can help!

Physical Therapy For These Dizzy and Balance Problems

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV)
  • Migraine related vertigo
  • Neck pain with dizziness
  • Falls Prevention

Saunders’ falls prevention training can also identify balance or gait issues and reduce the risk of falls due to:

  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Diabetic neuropathies
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Post-concussion symptoms
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

 

Falls Prevention

Dizziness Caused by Migraine or Neck Pain

When vertigo is related to migraine or neck disorders, treating the neck symptoms often relieves the dizziness and lessens the severity of migraine symptoms. Saunders Therapy Centers’ physical therapists can assess whether your dizziness is originating from migraine or neck symptoms.

Falls Prevention and Balance Training

Dizziness, unsteadiness, and feeling a loss of balance is very unpleasant and frustrating. Individuals over the age of 65 are statistically at much higher risk of falls. At Saunders Therapy Centers, we LOVE to help prevent falls!

BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is the most common source of vertigo. Vertigo is the false sensation that you are falling, or the room is spinning. The main symptom of BPPV is that your vertigo is triggered by head movements (suddenly looking up, down, or to the right or left.)

Myofascial, Craniosacral, and Visceral Treatment

Myofascial Therapy Technique

Saunders physical therapists specialize in manual therapy, which is a hands-on approach using traditional physical therapy techniques of joint mobilization, muscle energy, and soft tissue mobilization.

Myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and visceral manipulation involve specialized manual therapy techniques that require additional training. The goal of all forms of manual therapy is to optimize tissue and joint mobility to facilitate an optimal healing environment for the body.

Two of our physical therapists, Amy Molzen-Stuke and Marie Holecek, have dedicated their practice to advanced training in the specialized techniques of myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and visceral manipulation.

With their combined experience of nearly 50 years in the field, they have helped thousands of patients with their expertise. Their training is via John Barnes, Upledger Institute, Barral Institute, additional related coursework, and is ongoing.

Myofascial Therapy Technique

“I have a chronic illness and have been to many physical therapists, and Marie is one of the very best I’ve encountered. She is straightforward, compassionate, easygoing and employs a sophisticated mix of techniques to deal with my ever changing physical issues. I would highly recommend her to anyone, but particularly those struggling with chronic health issues!” – RAPHAEL

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is a technique focusing on gentle mobilization of internal organs and their fascial connections to promote synchronized movement between the organs and structures.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a hands-on approach of evaluating and treating cerebrospinal fluid restrictions. Our craniosacral physical therapists have years of training and experience.

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Myofascial release (MFR) is a hands-on approach of evaluating and treating fascial restrictions. Our myofascial physical therapists have years of training and experience, including multiple certifications from John Barnes, the Upledger Institute, and the Barral Institute.

Our Treatment Philosophy

All patients receive a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation that includes assessment of your posture, muscle imbalances, biomechanics, and joint mobility to identify areas contributing to your symptoms.

In addition to the specialized techniques you will receive, an individualized therapeutic exercise program will be prescribed to address muscular imbalances of strength, stability, and/or flexibility. Education in posture and body mechanics and home self treatment techniques will also assist in pain management.