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Physical Therapy

As part of the Rehabilitation and Wellness Team at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), our mission is to:

  • Diagnose and initiate treatment for patients referred with complex, comorbid traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions
  • Conduct focused research
  • Export knowledge and practices to improve TBI and psychological health outcomes for service members, their families, and the Military Health System

The Physical Therapy department provides patient care in the intensive outpatient program (IOP) for vestibular and orthopedic needs, and for the broader-based TBI outpatient program for vestibular and neurological diagnoses.  

Orthopedic Evaluation and Treatment

Intensive Outpatient Program

  • A physical therapist performs a full-body comprehensive orthopedic evaluation on each service member participating in the IOP
  • Each service member receives an individualized exercise program specific to the musculoskeletal dysfunction noted on evaluation, and is treated by a physical therapist while at the NICoE
  • Discharge needs or further referral recommendations are made

TBI Outpatient Program

NICoE does not provide orthopedic evaluation or treatment services for our TBI Outpatient Program.

Vestibular Evaluation and Treatment

Intensive Outpatient Program

  • A comprehensive vestibular test battery is completed in conjunction with audiology to assess for functional balance problems as well as central and peripheral vestibular dysfunctions
  • Based on evaluation findings, treatment is initiated by a physical therapist during the service member's IOP stay
  • Discharge recommendations are determined by the vestibular team

TBI Outpatient Program

  • A comprehensive vestibular test battery is completed by a physical therapist to assess for functional balance problems as well as central and peripheral vestibular dysfunctions
  • Treatment is initiated as appropriate to address deficits noted on evaluation, and may include interventions such as, but are not limited to:
    • Positional techniques
    • Exercises to address vestibular hypofunction
    • Balance and multisensory integration training (the CAREN may be utilized as necessary for a treatment intervention option)
    • Treatment for cervicogenic dizziness
    • Visual motion intolerance exercises
  • Discharge needs or further referral recommendations are made

Neurological Evaluation and Treatment

Located in the America Building 19 on the first floor, our primary mission is to treat TBIs. However, based on space available, a wider range of diagnoses affecting the central nervous system are treated in the outpatient neuro program, including but not limited to:

  • TBI (mild, moderate, and severe)
  • CVA (stroke)
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Vestibular Disorders
  • Central nervous system and vestibular system post-operative rehab
  • Gait and balance deficits resulting from central nervous system dysfunction
  • ALS
  • Guillain-Barre

Intensive Outpatient Program

NICoE does not provide neurological evaluation or treatment services for our TBI Outpatient Program.

TBI Outpatient Program

For the TBI outpatient program, a physical therapist performs a comprehensive vestibular or neurologic evaluation to assess for functional deficits including difficulty with gait, balance, strength, coordination, repeated falls, transfers, and activities of daily living. Based on this information, the PT will form a treatment plan and establish goals reflecting the functional needs.

A treatment plan may include different interventions including:

  • Gait training
  • Transfer training
  • Vestibular habituation
  • Treatment for BPPV
  • Balance training
  • General strength and flexibility
  • Sensory integration
  • Functional mobility training
  • Recommendations for bracing or assistive devices

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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