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Megan Kraciun, PT, DPT, OCS

Megan is from Dubuque, IA and is currently residing in Davenport, IA.  She received her BA in Exercise Science in 2014 and her DPT in 2015, both from St. Ambrose University.  Megan is an active member of the APTA and IPTA.  In her free time, Megan enjoys soccer, running, biking, and boating.  Megan became a physical therapist because she had a lot of teammates and family members who had to have PT.  She decided to observe a few therapists in high school and she has loved it ever since! She loves being able to help people get back to doing the things they love.

Clara Tostovarsnik, PT, DPT

Clara received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2016 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2019 from Bradley University.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.

Clara grew up in Spring Valley, IL and currently resides in Peoria, IL.  Outside of work, Clara loves to garden, bike, lift weights and do yoga.  She also enjoys hosting game nights with friends, spending times with family and sipping on a good cup of coffee at local coffee shops.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I chose physical therapy because I was able to combine my love for health, fitness and helping others to improve the quality of their lives into one wonderful career.  I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people, listening to their stories and hopefully making their lives a tad bit better along the way.

Moriah Delp, MPT

Moriah received both her Bachelors of Exercise Science in 2003 and her Master of Physical Therapy in 2005 from St. Louis University. 

Moriah grew up in Greenbush, MN and now resides in Riverside, IA.  In her free time, Moriah enjoys reading, church groups and music.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I became a physical therapist in appreciation to the PT who helped my father walk again after a motor vehicle accident.  I would have had a very different life growing up with a father in a wheelchair.

West Union, IA

Miranda Tiller

Miranda is originally from Bettendorf, IA, then lived in Washington State for 3 years and now is back in Bettendorf, IA. Miranda graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Iowa State University in 2014. Outside of work she loves hanging out with her husband and two high energy boys. On a good day you can either find her playing outside with her boys or snuggled up on the couch with a warm cup of coffee reading about all the things health, personal growth, and holistic living.

 

Why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I decided to pursue a career in Health Coaching because I love helping people achieve deep health. I believe that striving for better health allows us to show up in this world as our best selves. We become better parents, better employees, better people in general when we put our health first. When we show up in that way, we can make the world a happier place!

Tracey Schwass

Tracey is from Birmingham, AL and currently resides in Rock Island, IL. Outside of work Tracey enjoys park days with the kids and puppy. She also enjoys running, and crafting boring items into sparkly ones.

Amber Davis

Amber is from Davneport, IA and currently lives between Muscatine, IA and Wilton, IA. Ourside of work Amber enjoys camping, showing pigs, boating, and spending time with her family.

Lee Balik

Lee is from and currently resides in Spillville, IA. Outside of work Lee enjoys photography, walking/running, camping, kayaking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Have you ever missed an important life event because you were in the bathroom… again? Have you had to deal with the discomfort of urine leaking throughout the day? Do you struggle with painful intercourse? Do you have pelvic/low back pain that is unchanged despite multiple attempts by healthcare providers? You may be a candidate for pelvic floor physical therapy.

Many people are unaware of the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy. Physical therapists treat muscles, joints and ligaments all throughout the body and with specialized training can treat pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that attach to the pelvis and supports our organs. A slight disruption in the pelvic floor can lead to many challenges including frequent or painful urination, painful intercourse, or other topics most of us don’t like to talk about. Don’t worry, we are here to ease any embarrassment and help find solutions to these problems.

Pelvic floor physical therapists (PFPTs) can train your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax appropriately to promote improve their function.   We also address joint alignment to reduce stress on the ligaments and muscles, improving flexibility, and decrease tender areas. As a result of your individualized treatment plan, many patients are able to start and stop the flow of urine, have bowel movements, and engage in pleasurable intercourse. Many people think it is as simple as doing a Kegel exercise. There are many ways to improperly perform a Kegel exercise and a trained PFPT can ensure proper muscle activation. They can also progress a proper exercise program with the incorporation of other activities in order to progress an individual toward their goals.

So how do you know if you could benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy?

Do you leak urine or feces with sneezing, coughing, laughing or physical movements including sitting to standing, rolling over?
Do you have pelvic pain?
Are you constipated? Do you have to push forcefully to have bowel movements?
Do you have pain with intercourse?
Do you have low back pain that has not resolved with traditional treatments?
Do you feel a pressure or heaviness in the pelvic area?
Do you feel as if things are “falling out”?

Answer yes to any of these questions? Then you may benefit from a consult with a PFPT.

Rock Valley Physical Therapy would love to help you with any of your orthopedic problems including pelvic floor dysfunction. We treat the whole individual in order to “make better lives”. Call an office today to find out about the nearest pelvic floor physical therapist. 

 

 

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19725028/pelvic-floor-therapy/

 

https://www.rockvalleypt.com/locations/valley-view-drive/megan-kelley

Katie Ohms, PT, DPT

Katie received her Bachelor of Science degree from Briar Cliff University in 2007 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Creighton University in 2010.

Katie grew up in Adair, IA and now resides in Greenfield, IA.  Outside of work, Katie loves spending time with family and friends, cooking and baking, reading, gardening and painting.  She also enjoys staying active and playing/watching sports with her kids.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I chose physical therapy because I believe that every person deserves to live their best life and be as functionally active and independent as possible.  I want to help them reach those goals and maximize their ability to enjoy their life.

Celia Jane Haan

Celia is from Morrison and currently resides in Morrison. In her free time she enjoys reading, and volunteering for her church and Resthave.

Rachelle Breitenbach

Rachelle grew up and currently resides in Silvis, IL. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching the Chicago cubs play, traveling and playing with my two labradoodles.

Connor Schmitt

Connor is from Dubuque, IA and currently resides in Davenport, IA. He graduated from St. Ambrose. Ourside of work Connor enjoys Olympic Weightlifting. There is a huge rush of doing those movements that he really enjoys doing. He also loves to watch movies, read and go on walks with his Corgi.

Why did you decide to pursue this career path:
 I decided to pursue this career path when I was in high school helping freshmen athletes learn new lifts in the weightroom and help them get to the next level. A coach of mine at the time said that I would be an excellent coach just from what they saw me do for other younger athletes.

James Morrissey

James is from and currently resides LeClaire, Iowa. He graduated from St. Ambrose University. Outside of work James enjoys playing sports, spending time with friends and family, and coaching football at Moline High School.

Why did you decide to pursue this career path: To help better/impact the lives of individuals who want to stay active as well as stay active myself.

Alison Warnecke, DPT

Alison received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Iowa State University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2018.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Alison grew up in Williamsburg, IA and now resides in Blue Grass, IA.  In her free time, Alison enjoys working out, playing with her dog and spending time with family.  She is also a member of the Nu Zeta Sorority and American Auxiliary Association.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  To help people improve others function through optimal movements for a better quality of life.

Greg Bender, DPT, ATC

Greg received his Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from University of Iowa in 2013 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of St. Augustine in 2017.

Greg grew up and still resides in Waukee, IA.  Outside of work, Greg enjoys playing basketball, disc golf and golf.  He is also a big Iowa Hawkeye fan!

Pam Post

Education: Jefferson High School

Personal Interests: Pam can always be found spending time with her family, camping, kayaking and traveling with friends.

Cedar Rapids - PCI

Sheryl McDonald

Education: A.A.S. Degree, Kirkwood Community College

Personal Interests: Sheryl loves to spend time with her husband and kids, walking, and volunteering in the community.

Mary Steger

Education: Kirkwood Community College

Professional Specialty: Geriatrics

Personal Interests: Mary enjoys time with her family, camping, and gardening.

Misti Thompson, ATC

Education:  BS in Athletic Training from University of Iowa

Professional Specialty:  Athletic Injuries

Personal Interests:  Misti enjoys softball, volleyball, hiking, fishing, and being outdoors. She also loves to travel with her husband and growing family.

Stefanie Myers, PTA

Education: PTA-Kirkwood Community College, Bachelor of Arts- Luther College

Personal Interests: Stef enjoys cooking, reading, walking, and working out. She and her husband also enjoy spending time with their little boy. 

Linea Rochford, DPT

Education: University of Iowa- Doctor of Physical Therapy

Professional Specialty: Women's Health, Dry needling, General Orthopedics

Personal Interests: Linea's favorite sports include volleyball and golf and she can always be found cheering on the Hawkeyes! She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. 

Kimberly Loffswold, MPT

Education: St. Ambrose- Masters of Physical Therapy

Professional Specialty: General Orthopedics, Manual Therapy, TMJ (Jaw) Dysfunction, & Vestibular Rehab

Personal Interests: Kim enjoys softball, spending quality time with family and watching her two children play sports.

Jenna Hindman, ATC, DPT, OCS

Education: Northern Arizona University- Doctor of Physical Therapy; Central College- Athletic Training

Professional Specialty: General orthopedics, athletic rehabilitation, spine

Personal Interests: Jenna is enjoys playing all sports especially soccer, hockey, and golf. She currently coaches soccer at Xavier High School and Cornell College. When she is not playing sports she enjoys traveling and hiking.

Dan Drey, MSPT

Education: Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy

Professional Specialty: Manual therapy, orthopedics and spine rehabilitation

Personal Interests:  Dan enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and is a big fan of the Fighting Irish.

Martin Foxen, MPT

Education: University of Iowa- Masters of Physical Therapy  

Professional Specialty: Orthopedic and vestibular rehabilitation

Personal Interests: Martin enjoys running, backpacking, spending time with wife and two daughters.

Brian Steffen, MPT

Education: University of Iowa- Master of Physical Therapy

Professional Specialty: General orthopedics, manual therapy, foot and ankle, spine, and occupational rehabilitation

Personal Interests: Brian enjoys family time with his wife and two boys, baseball, golf, and home improvements.

Kevin Lux, MPT

Education: University of Iowa; Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist Professional Specialty: Athletic rehabilitation, manual therapy, sports performance enhancement programs Personal Interests: Kevin enjoys exercising, golf, sporting events, hunting, and spending time with wife and three sons.

Jonathan Wolff, PT, MSPT, OCS

Jon received his Bachelor of Arts from Wartburg College in 1996 and his Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in 1999.  In 2010, Jon became an Orthopedic Certified Specialist.  He is also an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association. 

In his free time, Jon enjoys hiking, camping and fishing.  He also likes to travel, photography, music, sports and arts. 

Heidi S. Elkins

Heidi grew up in the Illinois Quad Cities and currently lives in Orion, IL with her husband Jeff, two daughters Renee (21) and Carley (19) and their pets; Sassy (cat lSyr), Nani (dog lyr) and Lilo (dog lyr). In their free time they are very involved in their church, Faith Lutheran in Moline. Heidi also used to play recreational volleyball before she had her girls and would love to one day get back to it.

Marion, IA

Cedar Rapids, IA - 29th St.

Kaitlyn Rosenstiel, PT, DPT, ATC

Kaitlyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from Central College in 2015 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2018.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Kaitlyn grew up in Cedar Falls, IA and currently resides in Moline, IL.  Outside of work, Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching sporting events (Go UNI Panthers, Central Dutch and Minnesota Vikings) and shopping.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I chose physical therapy as my profession because I am very interested in the human body and how it works.  I also enjoy working with patients to achieve their goals and helping them return to their hobbies.

Joey McEachern, PT, DPT

Joey received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2016 and his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2017, both from St. Ambrose University.  He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Illinois Physical Therapy Association.

Joey is from Sandwich, IL and is currently residing in Davenport, IA.  In his free time, Joey enjoys running, weightlifting and playing recreational basketball.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I am passionate about human health and being a part of a profession that optimizes movement and function.

Sonja Gilbertson, PT, DPT

Sonja received her Bachelor of Arts in Health & Human Physiology-Exercise Science and Psychology in 2015 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2018, both from the University of Iowa.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Sonja grew up in Yorkville, IL and currently resides in Iowa City, IA.  In her free time, Sonja enjoys running, hiking, playing/watching sports, reading, baking/cooking, drinking coffee and spending time with family and friends.

Why did you become a physical therapist?    I chose physical therapy because I wanted to provide individuals with the tools needed to take control of their health, helping them to lead an active and healthy life.

Dustin Hawk, PT, DPT

Dustin received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2016 and his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2018, both from St. Ambrose University.  Hs is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association. 

Dustin is from Stronghurst, IL and now lives in Rock Island, IL.  Outside of work. Dustin enjoys exercising, cooking and anything outdoors.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I was drawn to physical therapy because it involves exercise and requires the patient to be an active participant in their treatment.

Morgan Pavlich, PT, DPT

Morgan received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2017 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2018, both from St. Ambrose University.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Morgan grew up and still resides in the Quad Cities.  In her free time, Morgan enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising and exploring new restaurants and breweries.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  I want to help people return to the activities that mean the most to them so they can be their best possible self.

Courtney Wagner

Courtney is from Ottumwa, IA and currently resides in Des Moines, IA. She decided to work in this field because she has always loved sports and enjoys helping people get back to doing their favorite activities. Outside of work Courtney teaches softball pitching lessons and loves watching her athletes grow in the sport!

Kaelene Kragenbrink-Voorhees, ATC

Kaelene received her BA in Athletic Training from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015. 

Brian Cichon, PT, DPT

Brian received his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology from Loras College in 2015 and his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Des Moines University in 2018.  He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Brian grew up in Orland Park, IL and is currently residing in Silvis, IL.  In his free time, Brian enjoys golfing, biking and spending time with family and friends.

Why did you become a physical therapist?
I knew I wanted something in the healthcare field, however, I did not want to be a provider who saw a patient for 10-15 minutes, and then did not see them again for another 3 months.  I wanted to be able to spend time with my patients, getting to know them on a personal level and help them return to their daily work and recreational activities.

Calli Kahl, MOT, OTR/L

Calli received her Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Fitness in 2012 and her Master of Occupational Therapy in 2018, both from St. Ambrose University.  She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Iowa Occupational Therapy Association.

Calli is from Durant, IA and now resides in Davenport, IA.  Outside of work, you can find Calli enjoying time with her friends and family, but most of all her dog Odin.  She also enjoys completing any DIY project, playing and watching fast pitch softball and traveling domestically and internationally.

Why did you become an occupational therapist?
I chose occupational therapy as a profession because it offers a great reward by seeing and hearing patients achieve meaningful tasks, therefore maximizing their quality of life.  As an occupational therapist, I am able to use different approaches in order to achieve patient goals, which allows me to use my creativity at its fullest.

Mackenzie Banwart, PT, DPT

Mackenzie received her Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Physiology from University of Iowa in 2015 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Des Moines University in 2018.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Iowa Physical Therapy Association.

Mackenzie grew up in Ottosen, IA and now resides in the Quad Cities.  Outside of work, Mackenzie enjoys golfing, cooking, playing sand volleyball and watching football.

Why did you become a physical therapist?  To help patients stay active doing the things they enjoy doing.

Cathy Herman, PT, DPT

Cathy received her BA in Biology from University of Northern Iowa in 2003 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of Iowa in 2009.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedic Special Section and the Iowa Physical Therapy Association. 

Cathy grew up on a farm in Sigourney, IA and now lives in Iowa City, IA.  In her free time, Cathy enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors, reading, crocheting, cooking and visiting with family and friends.

Why did you become a physical therapist? I chose to become a physical therapist because of my desire to help people and my interest in the study of the human body, movement and exercise.  Also, I grew up playing sports and have remained active my whole life, and would like to help others do the same for as long as possible.

Katherine Tucker-Dipple, PTA

Katherine is from Galesburg, IL and currently resides in Muscatine, IA. She attended Black Hawk College where she received her PTA degree. Katherine became a PTA because every encounter she has had with a physical therapist has been a wonderful experience. I wanted to be apart of a career where everyone loves what they do. I truly enojy helpinng people and being a positive impact along the road to their recovery. In Katherine's free time she enjoys hiking, nature, cooking/baking, fixing things, painting, reading, puzzles, crocheting, and spending time with her family.

Cynthia Lavely

Cynthia is from Riverside, IA and currently resides in Riverside, IA. In her free time she enjoys walking, bike rides and spending time with her grandkids.

Judy Johnson

Judy is from Mediapolis, IA and currently resides in Burlington, IA. In her free time she enjoys craft / junk shopping, and family gatherings.

Katie Enlow

Katie is from Lisle, IL and currently resides in Eldridge, IA. In her free time she enjoys going to her kids events, going on walks, and watching the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks.

Carol Peck

Carol is from Waverly, IA and currently resides in Denver, IA. In her free time she enjoys hanging with her nephews, reading, baking, going to sporting events, and watching college basketball. Go Cyclones!!

Mallory Bacon, ATC, LAT

Mallory graduated from Stockton College in 2017. She is from Lincoln, IL but currently resides in Altona, IL.  She loves to spend time with her family and friends in her free time. She also enjoys taking her dogs on walks. Mallory became an athletic trainer because she loves to help people. Throughout my own athletic career I spent a lot of time in and out of the athletic training room and my high school AT inspired me to become an athletic trainer.

Karisa Apostolopoulos

Karisa likes to travel, go shopping, and spend time with family and friends in her free time. Karisa is from and currently resides in Moline, IL.

Nicole Mall

Nicole is from Muscatine, IA and currently resides in Wilton, IA. In her free time she enjoys doing anything outdoors on nice days. She also loves to watch and listen to the rain because it's very relaxing.

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is Named a Top Workplace by The Des Moines Register

Rock Valley Physical Therapy has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by The Des Moines Register. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

“Through a dedicated workforce committed to our mission and the motto that ‘great care is good business’, Rock Valley Physical Therapy believes strongly that the investment in our people pays great dividends.  We are blessed in being able to attract and retain great people,” says Julie Janecek, Lead Executive Assistant and Human Resources Manager for Rock Valley Physical Therapy. 

“In an industry where there is a decade long shortage of therapists Rock Valley's professional staff turnover was 3% and 4% over the past two years.  This significantly outperforms the most recent national average reported by the American Physical Therapy Association of approximately 10%.  Rock Valley employees are committed to the care of patients, our communities and to their peers.  They are the reason Rock Valley Physical Therapy is a success,” she adds.

This is the fourth Top Workplaces award Rock Valley Physical Therapy has received.  Rock Valley also received the award in 2013, 2015, and 2017. See more details on The Des Moines Register's Top Workplaces website.

Dana Lenane

Dana is from Davenport, IA and recently moved to Dewitt.  She enjoys watching her daughter do cheerleading at her new school.  Learning about flowers to plant at her new home.  Walking her dog Mufasa and caring for stray animals.

Angie Dixon, PTA

Angie received her bachelors from the University of Iowa. She is from Davenport, IA but currently resides in Iowa City, IA. Outside of work she enjoys photography, running, spending time with her family and walking her dog blue. Angie decided to become a physical therapist because she enjoys working with people and being active throughout the work day. It’s a profession that challenges me daily.

Benjamin Jobgen, PT

Ben received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Wartburg College in 1999 and his Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2001.
Ben grew up and still resides in Davenport, IA.  Outside of work, Ben is an Assumption Foundation for K-12 Schools Board Member and President of the Rising Knight Wrestling Club.

Why did you become a physical therapist? - I enjoy being able to work with people on a daily basis and provide care to help them function in the way they desire.

Iowa City clinic joins Rock Valley Physical Therapy

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is pleased to announce Care Advantage Rehabilitation has joined the Rock Valley team.  Local Iowa City physical therapist Mike Lanaghan started Care Advantage 16 years ago in an effort to provide high quality care in an independently-owned setting which allowed him to focus on putting patients first.   Lanaghan will continue to offer physical therapy and industrial rehabilitation at the 1705 S. 1st Ave. C. location near the Iowa City Marketplace off Hwy 6. 
About the partnership, Lanaghan said, “I felt joining Rock Valley gave me the best opportunity to continue doing what has made us successful for the past 16 years.  We are joining a great team with more resources that will allow us to grow and improve beyond what we could have done as a single independent location.”
Rock Valley began in 1984 and has grown to one of the largest 100% therapist-owned companies in the country with 385 employees serving Iowa and Illinois communities in 45 convenient locations. 
“Staying engaged in our communities has been a key to our success.  Having local owners and leaders directly involved in patient care is really unique for a company our size.  This structure ensures we keep patients at the center of all of our decisions and never lose focus on what is important – taking care of people.” says Mike Horsfield, CEO of Rock Valley Physical Therapy.
About Rock Valley Physical Therapy
Every day Rock Valley employees strive to live the company’s tagline by “Making Better Lives” by offering high quality care and genuinely caring about their patients.  Rock Valley has been named a 2018 Top Workplace by the Des Moines Register and has been voted the #1 physical therapy company by Locals Love Us for four consecutive years.
Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, many Americans do not know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.  Learn more about the types of conditions physical therapists can treat at www.rockvalleypt.com or call the Iowa City Clinic at (319) 337-8818.
 

Beth Escher

Beth is originally from Kalona, IA and now resides in Iowa City, IA.

She enjoys reading, being with family and friends, playing games, going to movies, plays and listening to bands and concerts.  She volunteers for the Make-A-Wish organization.

Michael Lanaghan

Mike received his Bachelors from the University of Iowa in 1986 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa in 1988. He is a current member of the APTA. Mike is from Iowa City and currently resides in Iowa City, IA. In his free time, Mike enjoys biking and traveling. I chose to be a physical therapist because I liked helping people with disabilities and after looking in to PT I decided it would be a good fit for my personality. Almost 30 years later and I would still say it was a good choice.

Iowa City, IA

Taylor Mericle, DPT, ATC

Taylor received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in 2016 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2018, both from Clarke University.  She is an active member of The American Physical Therapy Association and The National Athletic Trainers' Association. 

Taylor is from East Moline, IL and still currently resides there.  Outside of work, Taylor enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, playing with her dogs and spending time with her family. 

Why did you become a physical therapist? – After completing observation hours in high school, I loved the positive effect the physical therapists had on their patients.  I became a physical therapist to help people through difficult times and improve their quality of life by utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired through my education and experiences.

Taylor Mericle, DPT, ATC

Taylor received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in 2016 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2018, both from Clarke University.  She is an active member of The American Physical Therapy Association and The National Athletic Trainers' Association. 

Taylor is from East Moline, IL and still currently resides there.  Outside of work, Taylor enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, playing with her dogs and spending time with her family. 

Why did you become a physical therapist? – After completing observation hours in high school, I loved the positive effect the physical therapists had on their patients.  I became a physical therapist to help people through difficult times and improve their quality of life by utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired through my education and experiences.

Katherine Quiroz

Katherine is from and resides in Columbus Junction, IA.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends, dancing, writing, reading and shopping. 

Ronda Busch

Ronda is originally from Muscatine, IA.  She spent some time in Rochester, MN before returning to Muscatine.

She enjoys attending church and helping with activities here.  As well as biking, walking, kayaking, swimming and playing with her grandchildren.

Renee Hill

Renee resides just north of Decorah, IA on their family farm with her husband Rodney and four year old son.  He keeps them very busy!  He will be starting preschool this fall at Nisse preschool.   Renee also enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing anything outside, camping and gardening.    She has been the treasurer on the Nisse board for the past two years.   She loves cooking, although she admits she doesn’t know how good she is.

Anne Nolting

Anne is from Preston, IA bus is currently residing in Davenport, IA while attend St. Ambrose University.  In her free time, Anne enjoys reading, doing puzzles and hanging out with family and friends.   She is a member of the St. Ambrose track and field team and participates in intermural sports including sand volleyball, basketball, and soccer. 

Kate Tryson

Kate is originally from  Oxford, IA and currently resides in Davenport, IA.  She enjoys running, especially outside.  She spends time camping with her family, hiking and exploring the outdoors.  Kate enjoys traveling, cooking and baking.  She has been a Girl Scout Leader for the past eight years.

Stephanie Wainwright

Stephanie is originally from Fulton, IL and has lived in Port Byron, IL for the past 20 years.  She enjoys exercising, which may include walks, jogs and hikes as some of her favorites.   She enjoys training for running distance races with friends, as well as traveling, the outdoors/sunshine and home decorating.  She spends time with family, friends and her two cats that she enjoys snuggling with and listening to all types of music.

Caitlin Phillips, ATC

Caitlin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from Aurora University in 2014.  She is originally from La Habra, CA and currently resides in Prophetstown, IL.  She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, dog and all the animals on their farm.

When asked why she became an Athletic Trainer:  I wanted to be able to work with athletes every day, to help them be able to participate in their desired sports.  I wanted to help athletes achieve their goals for sports and continue to participate in sports after the high school level.

Tyler Beauchamp

Tyler received his Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from Loras College in 2015.  He is originally from Muscatine, Iowa where he currently resides  He is a member of the National Athletic Training Association.  Tyler enjoys spending time working out, swimming and hiking.   

When asked why did you become an Athletic Trainer? Tyler noted that having been an athlete from a young age, he began developing chronic shoulder problems in college and after observing athletic trainers in the first year of college, he decided to pursue a degree in athletic training.  The relationships that an athletic trainer is able to develop with parents, coaches, and players is vital to be able to evaluate and treat each individual effectively.

Ashley Kimbel

Ashley is originally from Coal Valley, IL and currently resides in Rock Island, IL.  Outside of work Ashley enjoys coaching and mentoring the young women softball players within the Milan Girls Softball Organization (MAGS).  She also enjoys playing co-ed slow pitch softball.

April Babcock

April is originally from Des Moines, IA and currently resides in Johnston, IA.    She enjoys painting, gardening, reading, biking and traveling to the beach.   She is the Jr./Sr. High Sunday school teacher at her church, and enjoys being very involved within the community.

Kristin Shawhan

Kristin is from Bartonville, IL and currently resides in Peoria, IL.    She enjoys spending time with her three grown children.  She has two daughters and a son.  Her daughters have recently married and she is enjoying the addition of her two new son-in-laws.   One lives in Peoria and the other in Boston, MA.    Kristin also spends time watching sports and occasionally playing sports with her son.  He has learning disabilities and autism.  They have the pleasure of having him live at home, he is a lot of fun.

Fawn Russell, MS, CF-SLP

Fawn received her Bachelor’s degree from Mount Mercy University in 2004 and her Master of Speech Language Pathology in 2018 from St. Ambrose University.    She is an active member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Quad Cities Speech-Language Hearing Association, and Iowa Speech-Language Hearing Association.

Fawn currently resides in Rock Island, IL.  She enjoys spending time with her four children when not working.

Why did you become a Speech Language Pathologist?  One of my twins required services and I was interested in helping him and the added benefit of enjoying helping other children with speech, language and feeding difficulties.

Cameron Taylor, CSCS, USAWA, TSAC-F

Cameron is originally from Lombard, IL and is now residing in Davenport, IA.  He received his BS in Sports & Recreation Management from the University of Iowa in 2016, and is currently pursuing his MA at Western Michigan University for Coaching Sports Performance. Cameron chose to enter Sports Performance realm once he realized that his own athletic abilities would never take him to that “next level”.   He figured the next best option would be for him to enter coaching, so that he could help develop those athletes that had the potential to take that next step in their athletic career. He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  Cameron enjoys weight lifting, traveling and eating during his free time.

Brenda Schreiber

Brenda was grew up in Miles, IA (population 350) and now resides in  Goose Lake, IA.  She loves to mow the lawn (rider), flower garden, make crafts and hang out with family and friends.

Physical Therapy Could Offer Solutions for Your Aging Parents

Many times, women—more specifically, the oldest daughters in the family—are the primary decision makers when it comes to health decisions for aging parents. While making these important health decisions can be difficult, most caregivers don’t realize that physical therapy can be an excellent treatment option for aging parents—especially for those with neurological illnesses.

“Caring for your aging parent can be a tricky situation,” explains Amy Johnson, PT, OCS, COMT.  “While you want to help and support them during their time of need, and provide them with the best treatment options possible. It can be hard to truly understand their discomfort.”

Whether your parent is struggling from Parkinson’s disease, or is recovering from a stroke, physical therapy can offer your parent the support and guidance they need during this difficult stage in their life. By utilizing stress reduction techniques and prompting them to talk about their struggles, physical therapy can provide them with the emotional and physical support they need.

“Switching the roles, and having the child care for the parent, is an emotional and difficult time,” explains Johnson. “Sometimes, it is better to seek help from a neutral third party, who can help you and your family decide the next best steps by looking at the situation as a whole—rather than looking at the situation from an emotional standpoint.”

When caring for your parent, preventing falls is the most important step to take. Ensuring their home is well lit, free of falling hazards—like area rugs or cords—and is easily accessible, are all great steps to take to help prevent falls and reduce the risk of further injury. Installing handrails or an elevated toilet seat in the bathroom are great preventative measures to take, as well. Plus, it will allow your parent to feel more independent and less dependent on your family for help.

“Don’t forget, that as a primary caregiver, it is very important to take care of yourself and your personal well-being,” explains Johnson. “In order to be a good support system you need to support yourself, as well. This means taking time out of each day to do the things you like to do—or even spending a few minutes alone to catch your breath.”

Rock Valley Physical Therapy Neurological rehabilitation therapists treat:

  • Physical Impairments as a Result of Stroke or Spinal Cord Injury
  • Loss Of Function Due to Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Issues Pertaining to Prosthetic and Orthotic Use
  • Disorders From Medical Complications or Trauma
  • Balance and Gait Disorders
  • Vestibular Dysfunction

Learn more about Rock Valley Physical Therapy's Neurological rehabilitation offerings.

Amy Johnson, PT, OCS, COMT, is the manager of our Washington, IL clinic.  To schedule an appointment with Amy, please call (309) 444-1030 or request an appointment online

Are Your Knees As Healthy As They Could Be?

Stephanie Kelsick, PT, CSCS, OCS

Knee pain is very common in adults, especially in women. Due to a woman’s larger hip-to-knee ratio and their tendency to hold more weight in their hips, extra strain is naturally added to their knee joints, leading to discomfort and pain. 

At Rock Valley Physical Therapy we screen women and girls of all ages for improper knee alignment or other knee-related issues that could cause pain in the knee joint. Most of the patients we screen are struggling with knee pain as a result of weakened hip and core strength. Women who are looking to improve the function and mobility of their knees must first begin by improving their hip strength and surrounding muscles as well as maintaining a healthy body weight. The stronger their hip and core muscles are and the less weight the knees must hold, the less strain the knees will endure and the healthier they will be.

In addition to core strength and body weight, women’s daily routines—like infant carrying—can affect their knee’s function and overall health. Women who carry infants on a regular basis must make a conscious effort to keep a straight posture while carrying children and take breaks when necessary. Women who find themselves continuously crouching throughout the day to play with their children or to garden, should place a mat under their knees to reduce pressure and strain. While crouching is a necessary movement in life, continuous deep flection over time can result in extreme knee strain and lead to more severe knee-related issues. 

Stephanie Kelsick, PT, CSCS, OCS is the clinic manager in our Polk City, IA clinic.  To schedule an appointment with Stephanie, please call (515) 984-6377 or request an appointment online

Smiles, oh those fabulous smiles.  They were everywhere,  I tell ya.

Smiles, oh those fabulous smiles.  They were everywhere,  I tell ya.

On a gorgeous June Saturday, the 2018 version of Fishing Has No Boundaries, came to life at Camanche, Iowa's Rock Creek Marina.


A record 58 anglers were served in the event sponsored by Rock Valley Physical Therapy. Some 29 boat captains made the day possible with the help of 100-plus volunteers.

It was, if there can be, the perfect day.

 Anglers caught fish and loved the opportunity to enjoy their surroundings. Boat  captains, so giving and caring,  graciously shared the day and their vessels. And the many volunteers made it an event few will forget.

Fishing Has No Boundaries Inc. is a nonprofit organization developed in Hayward, Wis., in 1986. Designed to introduce the world of fishing to those who never thought it would be possible for them, Fishing Has No Boundaries teaches individuals with disabilities how to use adaptive equipment — such as electric reels, pole holders, and dock ramps — so they can experience the outdoors and learn to fish at the same time.

Allison McGraw, an occupational therapist with Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  leads the local Fishing Has No Boundaries chapter. She said  Year No. 5 for the project was a monster success.

 

“The first year we had 30 anglers participate,'' McGraw said. "We never imagined it to have grown this much. We have our supporters and volunteers to thank for the 59 anglers we served this year.''

"This is fun, lots of fun,'' one angler said while boarding  his boat. "I'm going to catch fish today. I feel lucky.''

It was his boat captain who said he was the lucky one.

"We are glad to have you and we are going to have a great day,'' the captain said to the angler, just before leaving the dock. "I have a great feeling you will be catching lots of fish and I know we are going to have fun.''

The boat captain then paused paused and said to the volunteers who helped the angler into his boat:

"I'm the lucky one.''

For McGraw, jumping into the project was easy a few years back. The program and its many benefits hit home.

“Fishing has always been a fun outing for my family,’’ McGraw said. “With my older sister having a physical disability and my dad having a cognitive and physical disability, I saw how much difficulty they were experiencing doing something they enjoyed. “Before Fishing Has No Boundaries Eastern Iowa Chapter, my dad and sister started to isolate themselves and not want to go out into the community. Now, my sister, who is in a wheelchair, participates every year — goes out on the river on a pontoon boat and socializes with friends she now stays in contact with throughout the year. My dad, who was always nervous when being around a large group, participated as an angler just before he passed. This organization has made a difference to so many individuals with and without disabilities.''

 When McGraw decided to embrace the project, she needed support. She sought the assistance of  Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  its therapists, staffers and management team.

The response has humbled her.

“It is amazing, and I am so thankful we have been able to continue this chapter,’’ she said. “Rock Valley is about “Making Better Lives and Better Communities.’ That is what Fishing Has No Boundaries does. I cannot thank Rock Valley enough for its dedication to the project. I am touched by my peers who are involved. This would not be where it is without Rock Valley Physical Therapy.''

McGraw says 2018 was such a success, thoughts of the 2019 outing were already on on her mind.

"We want to continue this,'' she said. "This is a great way to make better lives and to make a difference in the lives of many.''

On June 2, 2018, Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  many of its therapists, staff,  members of its  management team and other  dedicated and caring group of volunteers, brought together individuals of different ages, different levels of function, and different communities.


And they made fun with Fishing Has No Boundaries.

And made family.

Smiles, oh those fabulous smiles.  They were everywhere,  I tell ya.

Smiles, oh those fabulous smiles.  They were everywhere,  I tell ya.

On a gorgeous June Saturday, the 2018 version of Fishing Has No Boundaries, came to life at Camanche, Iowa's Rock Creek Marina.


A record 58 anglers were served in the event sponsored by Rock Valley Physical Therapy. Some 29 boat captains made the day possible with the help of 100-plus volunteers.

It was, if there can be, the perfect day.

 Anglers caught fish and loved the opportunity to enjoy their surroundings. Boat  captains, so giving and caring,  graciously shared the day and their vessels. And the many volunteers made it an event few will forget.

Fishing Has No Boundaries Inc. is a nonprofit organization developed in Hayward, Wis., in 1986. Designed to introduce the world of fishing to those who never thought it would be possible for them, Fishing Has No Boundaries teaches individuals with disabilities how to use adaptive equipment — such as electric reels, pole holders, and dock ramps — so they can experience the outdoors and learn to fish at the same time.

Allison McGraw, an occupational therapist with Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  leads the local Fishing Has No Boundaries chapter. She said  Year No. 5 for the project was a monster success.

 

“The first year we had 30 anglers participate,'' McGraw said. "We never imagined it to have grown this much. We have our supporters and volunteers to thank for the 59 anglers we served this year.''

"This is fun, lots of fun,'' one angler said while boarding  his boat. "I'm going to catch fish today. I feel lucky.''

It was his boat captain who said he was the lucky one.

"We are glad to have you and we are going to have a great day,'' the captain said to the angler, just before leaving the dock. "I have a great feeling you will be catching lots of fish and I know we are going to have fun.''

The boat captain then paused paused and said to the volunteers who helped the angler into his boat:

"I'm the lucky one.''

For McGraw, jumping into the project was easy a few years back. The program and its many benefits hit home.

“Fishing has always been a fun outing for my family,’’ McGraw said. “With my older sister having a physical disability and my dad having a cognitive and physical disability, I saw how much difficulty they were experiencing doing something they enjoyed. “Before Fishing Has No Boundaries Eastern Iowa Chapter, my dad and sister started to isolate themselves and not want to go out into the community. Now, my sister, who is in a wheelchair, participates every year — goes out on the river on a pontoon boat and socializes with friends she now stays in contact with throughout the year. My dad, who was always nervous when being around a large group, participated as an angler just before he passed. This organization has made a difference to so many individuals with and without disabilities.''

 When McGraw decided to embrace the project, she needed support. She sought the assistance of  Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  its therapists, staffers and management team.

The response has humbled her.

“It is amazing, and I am so thankful we have been able to continue this chapter,’’ she said. “Rock Valley is about “Making Better Lives and Better Communities.’ That is what Fishing Has No Boundaries does. I cannot thank Rock Valley enough for its dedication to the project. I am touched by my peers who are involved. This would not be where it is without Rock Valley Physical Therapy.''

McGraw says 2018 was such a success, thoughts of the 2019 outing were already on on her mind.

"We want to continue this,'' she said. "This is a great way to make better lives and to make a difference in the lives of many.''

On June 2, 2018, Rock Valley Physical Therapy,  many of its therapists, staff,  members of its  management team and other  dedicated and caring group of volunteers, brought together individuals of different ages, different levels of function, and different communities.


And they made fun with Fishing Has No Boundaries.

And made family.

 

Written By: John Marx

Rebecca Brooks

Rebecca is originally from Burlington, IA and now resides in Coralville, IA.  She and her daughter love to cook and bake, thrift shop and travel to see their favorite artists perform live.  She chose a career with Rock Valley because of the happy atmosphere for patients and employees.

Bridgetter Vale, M.S., CCC-SLP

Bridgette received her Bachelor degree in Exercise Science in 2010 and her Master of Speech Language Pathology in 2012, both from St. Ambrose University.  She is an active member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Quad Cities Speech-Language Hearing Association, and St. Ambrose University’s MSLP Advisory Board. 

Bridgette grew up in DeKalb, IL and currently resides in Taylor Ridge, IL with her husband, Joe and their daughter, Macie.  Outside of work, Bridgette enjoys spending time with her family, visiting with friends, walking and shopping. 

Why did you become a speech language pathologist?  - In college, I had the pleasure of working with adults with disabilities. After noticing how frustrated they would become with communication breakdown, I knew I could help more people in the future to communicate.

Rock Valley Sports Performance Programs Train All Ages, All Stages

Hans Krueger, MS, CSCS
Rock Valley Sports Performance Coordinator, Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Physical therapy and fitness for young athletes and teens requires consistency. That consistency can be challenging for an age group that is busier than ever with sport-specific lessons, strength conditioning, practices, camps and academics. Rock Valley Sports Performance (formerly Quad City Sport Performance) trains athletes involved in every sport from golf to football, and consistency is the message we try to convey so that our athletes’ bodies can undergo the adaptation they need—if the frequency of training is minimal, the results will be minimal, too.

Rock Valley Sports Performance training includes agility, speed training, power training, strength training, core development, pre-hab (injury prevention) and conditioning. We pride ourselves on teaching the basics and building a great foundation for progress to develop. Appropriate preparation and base development help ensure athletes reach their full potential.

Primarily, Rock Valley Sports Performance trains athletes ages 12 and up with a focus on improving speed, power, strength, conditioning and overall athleticism. However, we also offer a “Jump Start” training program for athletes aged 9 to 11 which focuses on exercise techniques, agility, change of direction mechanics and other fundamentals.

Rock Valley Sports Performance isn’t just for kids, though. We offer programs catering to all levels of adults, including one-on-one personal training and group training opportunities with diverse programming that challenges all fitness levels.

No matter the ages of the athletes working with Rock Valley Sports Performance, we help them all with their goals, whether those include increasing speed, power, overall strength or anything in between. Nutrition also plays a big part in training, and this comes in to play with our teenage and college athletes especially, who eat … well, how you would expect. We provide nutritional education and encourage athletes to invest in their bodies not only in the weight room but also in other areas of their lives.

This commitment to overall health and excellence is what makes Rock Valley Sports Performance programs so effective for our diverse groups of participants. Whether an athlete is focused on developing the basics or honing specific skills and abilities, Rock Valley Sports Performance has professionally-designed programs to help each athlete achieve his or her goals.

Learn more about Rock Valley Sports Performance programs.

Jenna Bush, DPT

Jenna received her Bachelor of Science in Movement & Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa in 2013 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Des Moines University in 2016.  She is an active member of Vestibular Disorders Association, Iowa Physical Therapy Association and American Physical Therapy Association. 
Jenna is from New Lenox, IL and is currently residing in Davenport, IA.  In her free time, Jenna enjoys running, yoga, golf, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Why did you become a physical therapist? - I was drawn to the profession of physical therapy at a very young age. In grade school, my sister had a spine injury and corrective surgery that caused her to miss almost an entire year of school and with it all the sports and activities that she loved.  Against all odds, physical therapy is what helped her return to school, competitive gymnastics, golf and a normal teenage life. Later that same year, my grandmother was diagnosed with brain cancer and her life was changed in an instant.  Following a tumor removal procedure, she was unable to walk, talk, or coordinate movements that she previously could. Had it not been for all of the therapy she received, she would never have made it back to where she is today.  I chose to be a physical therapist so I can help others the way the profession of physical therapy helped the people I love
 

Leanna Bender, SLP

Leanna received her BA in Speech Communication from Iowa State University in 2012 and her MS is Speech Language Pathology from St. Ambrose University in 2014.  She is an active member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association.
Leanna grew up in DeWitt, IA and is still currently residing there.  Outside of work, Leanna enjoys sports, hanging out with friends and making Kombucha.
Why did you become a speech therapist? – I wanted a career where I could help people better their lives.

Cora Claypool, PT, DPT

Cora received her Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology in 2015 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017, both from the University of Iowa.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Iowa Physical Therapy Association.
Cora is from Williamsburg, IA and is currently residing in Iowa City, IA.  In her free time, Cora enjoys being active outdoors, running and playing sports.  She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying out new recipes and watching TV crime dramas.
Why did you become a physical therapist? – I chose to become a physical therapist because I want to help others achieve their goals and empower them to live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Joel Ingram, PT, DPT, ATC

Joel received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2017.  He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Joel grew up in Marshalltown, IA and is now residing in Davenport, IA.  Outside of work, Joel enjoys sports, traveling, cycling, fishing, exercising and camping.
Why did you become a physical therapist? – I chose to become a physical therapist because I enjoy using the knowledge of movement and exercise to allow others to achieve their life goals.

Jenna Goar, PT, DPT

Jenna received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Wellness from Brigham Young University in 2014 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Iowa in 2017.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Iowa Physical Therapy Association and a Vestibular Rehab Special Interest Group.
Jenna was born and raised in Englewood, CO and is now residing in Iowa City, IA.  In her free time, Jenna enjoys playing and coaching sports including baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball.  She also enjoys hiking, playing board games, traveling, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.
Why did you become a physical therapist? – I had a physical therapist during my youth who truly cared for me and helped me work through my injuries so I could continue playing sports.  I want to help other people get back to the activities they enjoy just as my physical therapist did for me.

Alyssa Patterson, PT, DPT

Alyssa received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse in 2013 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Alyssa grew up in Geneseo, IL and is still currently residing there.  Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Green Bay Packers and Iowa Hawkeyes.
Why did you become a physical therapist? – I chose physical therapy in order to help patients with functional limitations return to the activities and life that they love.  I am also excited about the opportunity to improve quality of life in patients who are trying to maintain or achieve a healthy, active lifestyle and prevent disease throughout their lifetime.

Ryan Kauffman, PT, DPT

Ryan received his Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology in 2015 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017, both from the University of Iowa.  He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Ryan is from Jesup, IA but is now residing in Bettendorf, IA with his wife.  In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and dog.  He enjoys staying active and being outdoors as much as possible. Ryan is also a huge Iowa Hawkeyes football and wrestling fan and enjoys going to as many sporting events as he can.
Why did you become a physical therapist? – I have always had an interest in the human body and knew that I wanted to work in healthcare.  I chose to become a PT because it is a way to provide an impact and help people get back to doing the thing that they enjoy.

Kristin Kincaide, PT, DPT

Kristin attended St. Ambrose University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2014 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017.  She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Iowa Physical Therapy Association. 
Kristin is from Greenfield, IA but has been living in the Quad Cities area since 2010. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Why did you become a physical therapist? - I enjoy physical therapy's emphasis on addressing the root cause of issues as well as empowering   patients with the skills for self-management.  It also allows me to get to know my patients and watch as they get back to doing the things they love.

Hand Therapy Improves Everyday Function

by: Allison McGraw, MOT, OTR/L

We do an incredible amount of things with our hands, from work to play to everyday tasks—which makes hand therapy an important part of regaining function. Hand therapy is the rehabilitation of injuries and/or diagnosis that pertain to the upper extremity—the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. Diagnoses and treatment cover a wide range including muscle weakness, tendon injuries, tendonitis, nerve-related injuries or neurological disorders.

Rock Valley Physical Therapy has 11 hand therapists on staff, sixof which are certified.  To become a certified hand therapist; you need to be a registered therapist (occupational therapist or physical therapist) with five years of experience and 4,000 hours.

A hand specialist can treat patients ranging in age from pediatrics to older adults and may be required for post-operative care, non-operative care and preventative care. After surgery, the patient’s hand may need to be held in a specific position to promote the best healing, so hand therapists may fabricate a custom-molded splint to assist with proper healing. If it is difficult for the patient to regain prior level of function; the therapist may educate the patient in the use of adaptive equipment or how to modify tasks that are completed at home and at work.

Helping individuals regain function, whether at work or home, is what made me want to learn more about hand therapy and become a hand therapist. Could you imagine not being able to complete tasks that you previously could because of increased pain, injury or a neurological diagnosis? We use our hands for so much, and a person is affected not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Each individual’s injury and diagnosis is unique—as a therapist, we have to address all of these areas when working side-by-side with a patient.

Our goal is that each patient will have the comfort of getting back to completing those everyday tasks. No matter what the injury is, the Rock Valley Physical Therapy team treats each patient according to their individual situation, needs and goals.

Allison is currently based in our Silvis, IL clinic.  To schedule an appointment with Allison, please call 309-796-3450.

Concussion Prevention for Today’s Athlete

Jason Viel, MS, ACT/L, PES
Stacey Schuerman, MA, ATC 

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is a player's first line of defense against sports related injuries—especially concussions. Not only do we educate players on concussion symptoms and prevention, we also handle all concussion baseline testing and monitoring systems in local Iowa and Illinois schools.

Using state-of-the-art C3 Logic Technology on our iPads, we are able to visit local schools to test players on their balance, vision and mental processing. Each concussion baseline test takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and consists of six, 20-second balance tests and two vision tests. Last year, more than two thousand athletes were tested using our baseline technology. This year, we hope to test more than three thousand!

The information collected from these tests can be extremely helpful down the road. If a player is suspected of having a concussion in the future, we can access their C3 results and compare their current results to their baseline. If their results vary, it usually indicates they are suffering from a concussion or other head-related injury.

When an athlete is suspected of a concussion, we typically conduct a formal evaluation / test within one day of their trauma. If the test results indicate they might be suffering from a concussion, we notify the parents immediately and provide them with the necessary information that their primary care physician will need to make an accurate diagnosis. Following the doctor’s diagnosis, we will then retest the player five to seven days later. If their concussion results are within the normal range—or close to their baseline— the athlete can begin the return to play process with a doctor’s note before Day 4 of the 5 day return to play process.  

As concussions are a common occurrence in sports, our advice to young athletes is to self-report their injuries. Players who hide their injuries—like concussions—are only hurting themselves in the long run, and potentially making their symptoms worse. For parents, it is important to closely monitor your athlete and speak up if you feel something is wrong. As your child’s biggest advocate, it is up to you to report on, and monitor possible concussion symptoms.

In addition to teaching young athletes the seriousness of concussion prevention, we are always learning and continuing our education, as well. As athletic trainers, we take our jobs seriously and work hard to stay-up-to-date with the latest industry practices to ensure we are providing the best treatment possible for your child each and every time. 

If you would like more information about Rock Valley Physical Therapy’s concussion testing program, contact Stacey or Jason at stacey.schuerman@rockvallept.com or jason.viel@rockvalleypt.com

Here’s Why Your Knees Might Be In K-Need of a Visit to Your Physical Therapist

The knee joint itself takes the brunt of our body’s daily wear and tear. Most of our daily physical activity requires the use of our knees, which means keeping our knee joints healthy and functioning properly is extremely important to the overall quality of our lives.

Weakened hip stabilizers and glute muscles are the most common causes of knee pain we see in Rock Valley Physical Therapy patients. When a patient’s hip stabilizers or glute muscles are weak, the surrounding muscles must take over, resulting in overworked muscles and unneeded pressure and strain on the knee.

When a patient comes to Rock Valley Physical Therapy with knee pain, mitigation is the first step we take to analyze the mechanics of their knees. Looking at a patient’s walking and running patterns through video analysis, we are able to visually locate possible mechanical issues and identify the weakened areas of the knee. If weakened areas are detected, we then provide the patient with appropriate strength exercises designed to increase the strength of their hip stabilizers as well as the surrounding muscles.

Take the necessary precautions needed to ensure your hip and core strength is strong so that your knees can function properly. Because their muscle growth has not caught up with their bone growth, young athletes are at an increased risk for knee pain and the potential of more serious knee-related issues. Consistent hip and core strength exercises are the key to healthy knees as a young adult.

When it comes to the health and function of your knees, don’t forget to look at your feet! Shoe ware is a HUGE area that is commonly overlooked but can have a big impact on the overall health of your knees. To have a healthy impact on your knees, your shoes need to be sturdy, comfortable, and armed with good arch support. Remember, your feet are your body’s main first contact with the ground, so keeping your feet and ankles happy and healthy are important to your body’s overall function and mobility. 

Jennifer McQuillan, PT, DPT

Jennifer received her BA from Purdue University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois Chicago. Jennifer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and now resides in Rock Island. Jennifer likes to participate in triathlons. She also enjoys camping, hiking, downhill skiing, and scrapboking.

4 Tips to Prep for Outdoor Running This Spring

By: Danny Fleener, PT, MPT, CMPT, OCS

1. Don’t just hit the ground running: Exercise caution when taking your run outdoors

As the temperatures start going up, runners who have been cooped up in the gym all winter will finally have the chance to start running outside again. However, it’s not as simple as taking your treadmill workout and mapping it out on the sidewalk. It’s important that runners at all levels consider the differences between indoor and outdoor running workouts in order to avoid injury.

 

2. Remember indoor and outdoor running are not the same

There are plenty of differences between running on a treadmill and running on pavement. The act itself is a different motion. On a treadmill, the belt pulls your feet backward whereas natural running requires you to push off the ground in order to propel yourself forward, making it a more difficult workout. That also means that you aren’t using the exact same set of muscles, so be sure to warm up well before and cool down and stretch after workouts and be mindful of the stress you’re putting on your body.

Besides the difference in form, there are a variety of other factors that distinguish treadmill running with natural running. One of these involves pace. Unlike on a treadmill, you can’t automatically set a pace when you run on pavement—you have to manually work at maintaining that pace. You also lose the uniformity of the surface underfoot. Wind, elevation, ground reaction and surface texture all change during a run outdoors.

 

3. How to make a healthy transition

All of these differences require adaptation from your body. Luckily, your body is good at adjusting to this change, but it does take time. If you have been stuck inside all winter, it’s not recommended that you try to start at the same level you’re used to. We know you’re itching to be out in the fresh air, but transition by running some of your workouts outside and some inside. This is the best way to prevent injury—you can’t run anywhere with a tear or exacerbated injury.

When you do run outside, be smart. Remember that surfaces won’t always be even, temperatures may fluctuate and the elements can take a toll on your body. Be sure to be well-hydrated and wear sunscreen. Proper, safe running is more than just throwing on your shoes and hitting the pavement.

 

4. What to do when your workout hurts

If you experience pain when running, don’t push through it. More is not always better. For example, healthy running will not wear out your knees—that happens when runners push too hard. If you run with music, turn it off in order to focus on and listen to your body when you experience discomfort. Be sure to give yourself enough rest between exercises so your body can recover, and try a cross-training or strengthening program, like swimming and biking, to prevent over-working the same muscle set.

If the pain persists, be sure to see your physical therapist here at Rock Valley Physical Therapy. You may need a program adjustment! Nice weather is on the way, and we’re happy to help you enjoy it to the fullest!​

Danny Fleener is located in our Moline, IL - Avenue of the Cities office. To make an appointment with Danny, call our office at 309-743-0106.

Rock Valley Physical Therapy Announces Merger with Integrated Therapy Specialists

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is pleased to announce that Integrated Therapy Specialists has joined the Rock Valley team.  Integrated’s 13 eastern Iowa clinics will remain open and continue to offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, and industrial screening and rehabilitation.

“This merger is a great opportunity for us to leverage the strengths of both organizations to enhance the impact we have on the communities we serve.  Combining our resources will allow us to provide better care and easier access for our customers.  Our communities can expect to see the same familiar faces as we transition over to the Rock Valley name later this spring” says Steve Wieskamp CEO of Integrated Therapy Specialists.
Rock Valley began in 1984 and has grown to one of the largest 100% therapist owned companies in the country with 385 employees serving Iowa and Illinois communities in 45 convenient locations. 

“Staying engaged in our communities has been a key to our success.  Having local owners and leaders directly involved in patient care is really unique for a company our size.  This structure ensures we keep the customer at the center of all of our decisions and never lose focus on what is important-taking care of people.” says Mike Horsfield, CEO of Rock Valley Physical Therapy.

About Rock Valley Physical Therapy

Every day Rock Valley employees strive to live the company’s tagline by “Making Better Lives” by offering high quality care and genuinely caring about their patients.  Rock Valley has been named a 2017 Top Workplace by the Des Moines Register and has been voted the #1 physical therapy company by Locals Love Us for four consecutive years.

Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, many Americans do not know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.  Learn more about the types of conditions physical therapists can treat and locate a Rock Valley location near you at rockvalleypt.com.

Paul Pellett, PT, DPT

Paul received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Iowa and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University. Paul was born and raised in Decorah, Iowa and is happy to be back in the community and providing care in his hometown.  He has a special interest in manual therapy, Dry Needling, Sports Injuries, Geriatrics, Sports Performance and Fitness. In his free time, Paul enjoys golfing, weight lifting, and going to concerts. He also enjoys cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Decorah Vikings in all sporting events.

Arnold Larson, PT

Arnold Larson, PT, OCS, received his BA and Certificate in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa. Arnie’s special clinical interests include Orthopaedic Rehab, Manual Therapy, Geriatrics and Chronic Pain Management.  He and his wife Holly have two children and two Grandchildren. When he is not spending time with his grandchildren, you will find him training for the annual Chicago Marathon, biking and watching Iowa Hawkeye sports.

Sarah Costello, PT, DPT

Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from St. Ambrose University. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Des Moines University. Sarah specializes in outpatient orthopedics and enjoys treating a variety of diagnoses throughout all ages in the Durant clinic.  She believes that each patient deserves to be treated with respect, compassion and given the highest level of individualized therapy available.
When she is not busy spending time with her husband and 4 children, Sarah enjoys running, kayaking, cooking, reading and spending time with friends.