Therapy & Rehabilitation

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When you’re recovering from surgery, an injury or dealing with pain or another health condition that affects your ability to function, UnityPoint Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can help you regain your independence and improve mobility. We work with both children and adults through inpatient, outpatient and in-home settings, using a variety of cutting-edge techniques.

Our therapy and rehab teams consist of physiatrists (medical doctors who are trained in physical medicine and rehab); physical, occupational and speech therapists; rehabilitation nurses; social workers; dietitians; and psychologists. These professionals collaborate to develop an individualized care plan and monitor your progress, so you can meet your goals, recover faster and enjoy a better quality of life. Ask your provider for a referral to the experts at UnityPoint Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation today.

Common Therapy and Treatment Options

Depending on your location, common therapy treatment options may include:

  • Heat and cold therapies: Relieve pain and reduce inflammation in people with arthritis or chronic pain
  • Injections (Botox, steroid): Steroid injections are commonly used for joint pain and Botox injections can be used to help treat tight muscles (also known as spasticity) and migraine headaches
  • Medications: Prescriptions like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be prescribed to help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Occupational therapy: Can address daily activity limitations due to underlying physical cognitive, emotional, and environmental factors
  • Physical therapy: Can strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, improve mobility, balance, gait, stability and pain management - includes provision of exercise prescription
  • Speech language therapies: Can address speech articulation or understanding, swallowing, or cognitive concerns
  • Therapeutic massage: Can be prescribed to patients with chronic pain, muscle spasms or headaches
Commonly Treated Conditions

Depending on your location, conditions treated may include:

  • Amputation
  • Arthritis
  • Bowel, bladder and sexual disfunction
  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Chronic conditions
  • Debilitation/weakness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pain management
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Sports injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Workplace injuries
Team Members

Depending on your location, your team of therapy and rehabilitation experts may include: 

  • Case managers
  • Massage therapists
  • Nutrition services
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pastoral care staff
  • Physiatrists (physicians specializing in rehabilitation medicine)
  • Physical therapists
  • Program managers
  • Speech pathologists/audiologists
  • Social workers

Levels of Care

“Level of care” is a shorthand used to describe the type and intensity of medical care you will receive. The determination of your level of care is made by you and your family, the admitting facility and/or physician and insurance provider. You are on our team, and it’s important to understand the different levels of each care that provides specialized treatment, care, services and equipment. During your time with us, you may receive one level of care, or transition to a different level depending on your condition. Below our chart helps you better understand the levels of care that you have access to here at UnityPoint Health. We strive to bring the best outcome for every patient, every time, with our patient-centered and physician-driven system of care.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Our team is comprised of the patient, his or her family, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, rehabilitation nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, therapeutic recreation specialist and other health care professionals who work together to provide the best care possible.

  • Amount of Rehabilitation Therapy Provided – Each therapy plan is customized to fit each patient’s needs depending on diagnosis, severity of injury, medical complications and rehabilitation goals.
  • Nursing Care - A specialized rehabilitation nurse provides care 24 hours per day to reinforce newly learned skills in safety, mobility and self-care. This includes patient/family education for managing life with new physical impairments, education for managing altered bowel and bladder function, urinary self-catheterization, medication management and skin care.
  • Physician Care - A physical medicine and rehabilitation physician is actively involved in planning treatment and monitoring patient progress. Face-to-face physician visits and communication with patient, family and caregivers are important parts of the process.
  • Common Candidates - Inpatient rehabilitation is provided for individuals who have recently been affected by stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury or traumatic injury, or who have a neurological condition, or other disabling condition or disease. Loved ones who are living with a disability and have had a recent change in condition, injury or illness that has impacted their ability to manage day-to-day activities are also candidates for inpatient rehabilitation
Outpatient Rehabilitation

Our team includes the patient, his or her family, a physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist. Our rehabilitation team communicates with the patient’s referring provider about progress and ensures a smooth transition back to their care when therapy is completed. We match your needs to the best clinic and therapists, offering you and your family the most convenience and lowest out-of-pocket cost.

  • Amount of Rehabilitation Therapy Provided - Therapies depend on the patient's needs.
  • Physician Care - Outpatient rehabilitation consists of routine office visits with the patient’s primary care provider and specialists such as an orthopedic surgeon, members of the physical medicine and rehabilitation team, a neurologist and other providers who direct your care.
  • Common Candidates - Outpatient rehabilitation is for patients with physical disabilities and medical problems who are stable enough to live in their own homes and can travel to receive treatment. Many patients who have been treated in their provider’s office, the hospital, on the inpatient rehabilitation unit or through skilled sursing may transition their recovery plan to outpatient rehabilitation.
Skilled Nursing

Our team is comprised of the patient, his or her family, a provider, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, recreation activities and other services as needed.

  • Amount of Rehabilitation Therapy Provided - Patients may have been transferred to a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay for transitional care. This provides an at-home feeling while helping patients achieve realistic results and regain independence. While typically part of transitional care, the need for therapy is not required for admission to a skilled nursing facility
  • Nursing Care - Examples of care provided through skilled nursing include daily IV medications, sterile dressing changes, teaching new skills such as urinary self-catheterization, ostomy management, oxygen management, etc. Skilled nursing reinforces newly learned skills for daily living, mobility and safe use of assistive devices. It also assesses, educates and coordinates the patient’s plan of care as they transition to a safe living environment.
  • Physician Care - A physician and nurse practitioner work with the skilled nursing team to meet patient goals. They conduct regular face-to-face visits with patients during their stay.
  • Common Candidates - Skilled nursing is a senior-care-focused service, available for patients age 18 and older, who have physical disabilities that do not meet the care level for inpatient rehabilitation. Skilled nursing patients’ medical problems are generally stable and require less physician supervision.
Home Health

Our team is comprised of the patient, his or her family, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, medical social workers and home health aide

  • Amount of Rehabilitation Therapy Provided - Therapy is customized for patients based on need. Patients are seen within their home, and care is focused on fall reduction, home safety and independence. Therapy visits vary in length and each discipline visits on a regular cadence based on patient need.
  • Nursing Care - Nursing visits are based on patient need. Skilled nursing services include IV therapy, wound care, catheter care and ostomy care, as well as patient education for new diagnoses or other changes in health status. Home nursing care also includes observation and assessment of chronic conditions.
  • Physician Care - A Home Health Plan of Care is developed in partnership with the patient’s primary care provider.
  • Common Candidates - Home Health is for patients whose basic needs are met at home through self or another caregiver, but they require nursing or therapy to return to their prior level of function or manage a chronic condition. Home Health works with patients who are unable to travel for outpatient therapy.