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We Now Offer Vestibular Rehabilitation for Vestibular Dysfunction

What is Vestibular Dysfunction?

The main symptoms are vertigo, dizziness and imbalance.  These symptoms often lead to physical, emotional and cognitive challenges which can include depression and anxiety.  Many patients find they have difficulty performing activities of daily living.  Cognitive abilities can be impacted as symptoms progress.

Vestibular/balance rehabilitation assists individuals who are experiencing difficulties with balance or dizziness in improving function and preventing falls by thoroughly evaluating each individual’s needs and providing a treatment plan to address their specific concerns.

What causes dizziness?

A variety of central and peripheral neurologic and orthopaedic diagnoses can contribute to dizziness and imbalance and may be effectively treated through vestibular/balance rehab.
These include:

• Falls or vehicle accidents

• Effects of aging

• Inner ear disorders (e.g., benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, ototoxicity, labyrinthitis)

• Brain injury and post-concussion syndrome

• Stroke and other neurologic conditions

• Vertigo and disequilibrium

• Motion sensitivity

• Orthopaedic injuries and conditions

• Heart conditions

How can Physical Therapy help?

Vestibular Therapy can help patients restore function, control symptoms, and improve quality of life. A thorough evaluation with a vestibular therapist involves an assessment of pertinent vestibular and neuromuscular system functions, including strength, range of motion, coordination and balance, head and eye movements, mobility, and risk for falls. The physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan and a home exercise program to decrease dizziness symptoms and address musculoskeletal or neuromuscular problems that affect balance. Vestibular/balance rehab may also include gait training with an appropriate assistive device, patient education regarding safe home mobility, as well as other therapeutic exercises and activities.

We offer Vestibular Rehabilitation services at our Upper West Side and Midtown East locations
Upper West Side 248 West 80th Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10024 Phone: 212-874-1550 Fax: 212-874-1599 Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Midtown East 575 Lexington Avenue (at 51st St) New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-371-7869 Fax: 212-755-2030 Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

For more information, please contact:  Elizabeth Lamontagne:   or Nina Kansagra: 

We Are Pleased to Announce the Following Staff Changes at our NYC Locations


We are pleased to announce the following staff changes at our New York City locations.

Dr. Kenneth Van, PT, DPT, CKTP, GTS of our Grand Central location will be taking on the role of Clinical Director at our Midtown East facility in addition to his role at Grand Central.  We are excited to bring Ken’s energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and leadership to our Midtown East location..

Dr. Kristen Gerst, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP has been promoted to Senior Therapist and is relocating to our Flatiron District location.  Dr. Allen Thompkins, PT, DPT and Dr. Seth McChesney, PT, DPT will be joining her at our Flatiron location.

Thomas Greene, PT, MSPT is Acting Director at our Wall Street location.

As always, Recovery Physical Therapy is committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care and an outstanding patient experience.  We are your partners in your musculoskeletal care.   We are excited about these staff changes and renewed energy as we head into 2019.  Congratulations to all!

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage

We are thrilled to offer Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage at our Midtown East and Rockefeller Center offices.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage is a manual therapy technique that directly effects irregular muscle and connective tissue that limits a person’s motion and strength as they move through their daily lives. With the instruments the therapist can use different grades of pressure and angles to promote a different outcome in the body. The tools can help control pain, decrease tightness, increase muscle activation, break up scar tissue, and increase neuromuscular coordination. Any patient could benefit from this treatment. The physical therapist will evaluate the patient for any restrictions or deficits, and they can target their treatments to help make improvements. Using the tools helps the physical therapist provide the body with the sensory information to allow the brain to make better connections with the muscles to work more efficiently.
For more information, please email Dr. Kim Meyers PT, DPT, or Dr.Nicole Listas, PT, DPT, OCS –

Text Neck

Chances are that you probably haven’t given much thought to how your neck and back are faring in the era of the smart phone, but studies show that you most certainly should. It’s practically a reflex these days to pull out our smart phones when we’re standing in line, sitting at the airport or riding the subway. And while it’s great that we rarely need to venture beyond our pockets for entertainment, our bodies are beginning to retaliate—and mourn the pre-texting days.
So, what exactly are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies? A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a posture similar to that of smart-phone texters—has on their cervical spines. With each degree that our heads flex forward (as we stare at a screen below eye level), the strain on our spines dramatically increases. When an adult head (that weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position) tilts forward at 30 degrees, the weight seen by the spine climbs to a staggering 40 pounds, according to the study.
How pervasive of a problem is this? According to the study, the average person spends 14 to 28 hours each week with their heads tilted over a laptop, smart phone or similar device. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 700 to 1400 hours of strain and stress on our spines. As a result, the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pain has skyrocketed. Trained to address postural changes and functional declines, physical therapists are well-versed in treating this modern-day phenomenon, widely known as “text neck.”
Over time, this type of poor posture can have a cumulative effect, leading to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strains. Scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist can help people learn how to interact with their devices without harming their spines. The PT will prescribe an at-home program that includes strategies and exercises that focus on preserving the spine and preventing long-term damage.
Exercise is an important part of taking care of our spines as we age, but what we do when we’re not in motion matters, too. So next time you pick up your smart phone or curl up with your e-reader, do a quick check of your head and neck posture. Your body will thank you for years to come.

Six Opioid-Free Chronic Pain Management Methods


Opioids are the most common form of chronic pain management for patients in the U.S. Unfortunately, they also are highly addictive with a number of detrimental side effects. Alternative methods of pain management often are not provided in mainstream medicine due to the presence of pharmaceutical companies in healthcare. However, there are several ways you can manage your chronic pain without risking addiction or relapse if you already have recovered from an addiction to painkillers.  Here are a few of your options for managing pain without medication.

Exercise is Highly Effective

Though it can be very difficult to exercise with chronic pain, the more you exercise, the less pain your will experience. Regular exercise will stretch the muscles, reduce inflammation, and improve range of motion.

Mind Over Matter is Real

Meditation is another great way to manage pain. With practice, you will be able to move your mind to a place that does not feel the pain. Furthermore, meditation reduces stress and tension, two common contributors to chronic pain. It will not have an immediate effect because learning to meditate takes time. However, if you incorporate meditative practice into your daily routine, you will notice a difference.

Herbal Remedies May Help

For some people, herbal remedies can be very effective in managing pain. Turmeric, in particular, is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You either can add these helpful herbs into your diet or take supplemental capsules. Just be sure to steer clear of homeopathy as it has been proven completely ineffective.

Physical Therapy Can Make an Important Impact

Some worry that too much movement will amplify their pain, but physical therapy can relieve many kinds of chronic pain conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia. Physical therapy helps strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. It can also teach patients to avoid painful movements or postures throughout the day so they can proactively prevent issues on their own. The results aren’t instantaneous but with commitment and patience, you and your therapist can find the best techniques for your condition and decrease pain over time.

Watching Your Diet May Be an Easy Fix

Inflammation is typically the main cause of chronic pain. If you aren’t watching your diet, you may be unintentionally eating foods that cause inflammation and not getting enough of those that reduce inflammation. Try combing through your diet and collecting new recipes. You might just be surprised by how much your diet affects your pain levels.

Consider Treatment for Underlying Issues

Studies are beginning to show that there may be a link between mental health problems and chronic pain. People with anxiety tend to experience chronic pain as do people with poor health overall. If your chronic pain has not been explained, seek out other forms of treatment. With holistic care, you can get to the source of the problem rather than treating the symptom.

Suffering from chronic pain can make daily life difficult. Being faced with few options outside opioids certainly doesn’t make things easier. Rather than risk addiction to painkillers, try out a few of these methods. Keep in mind that not all chronic pain is the same and not every method will work for each situation. Test new methods until you find one that works.



Physical Therapy for Knee Pain May be Just as Beneficial as Surgery

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain may be just as beneficial as Surgery, a recent study suggests

A Finnish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine  this week suggests that arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus may not do any more to alleviate pain than physical therapy.   Meniscus surgery is the most common orthopedic surgery in the United States, with about 700,000 surgeries a year.

This study builds upon a 2002 Texas study which looked at surgery for knee osteoarthritis and a 2008 study which concluded that patients who received knee arthritis surgery did not fare any better than patients who did physical therapy and took medicine.

A 2013 study by seven hospitals in the United States found that in patients with tears, surgery did not result in greater improvement than physical therapy alone.  However, after six months, patients who did not get surgery did opt to get surgery.

As a result of the growing research, many physicians are advising patients to try physical therapy first.  They also recommend that patients are properly screened to determine who will benefit from surgery; such as those with tears from an acute sports injury or younger patients.

Physicians are advising patients to try physical therapy first; the benefits of reducing swelling, increasing strength and neuromuscular re-education are significant.


An Inspiring Address On The Future Of PT

Roger Nelson, PT, PhD, FAPTA was honored at the APTA conference yesterday as the presenter of the Mary McMillan Lecture. An innovator in the field who is held in very high regard for his long history

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of distinguished service to the profession, Nelson spoke on physical therapy’s “Next Evolution”.

Primary to Nelson’s message is that it is how the PT care delivery system adapts to the new and rapidly changing healthcare environment that will determine our future. It is crucial that we plan and implement the necessary strategies while maintaining a focus on the delivery of quality care.

Some of the reforms will entail:

  • Focusing on preventive care to maintain the population’s ongoing health
  • Customization of therapeutic intervention
  • Identifying and utilizing key metrics to assess outcomes, functionality, patient satisfaction and value
  • Generating outcome reports with complete transparency
  • Developing new payment systems that will pass tests of efficacy that will be required
  • Providing scientific evidence that will predict the most successful treatments
  • Recognizing that patients will have the ultimate control in the system and will demand value and trust in their healthcare providers

The primary question raised by Dr. Nelson was “How can our profession adapt?” Going beyond that, he challenged physical therapists to lead the rest of the healthcare industry in this effort. He noted that it is vital for PT’s to look beyond a patient’s obvious pathology and impairment and to instead “interact with all aspects of the patient and look at the environment in which each patient must succeed”. Physical therapists, Nelson offered, should integrate “the best of science with the art of a healer”.

Central to meeting the challenges facing the profession is the need to establish the value of PT to patients; to manage outcomes and expectations as they relate to function and pain. Also important is to clarify for payers the advantageous relationship between services rendered to outcomes received.

Nelson contended that PT must do the following in order to succeed:

  • Utilize electronic records within the cooperative healthcare community to develop measurement of treatment goals across the professions
  • Emphasize the importance of collecting data to drive the equation to justify care
  • Further develop academic programs that prepare students to adapt to the new healthcare environment by focusing on their communication, critical thinking and practical research skills, on innovation and on entrepreneurship. Nelson reinforced that new ideas will lead to desired outcomes and greater opportunity.
  • De-emphasize impairment ratings (such as ROM and MMT) as well as passive modalities in favor of a focus on each patient’s ability to function in his/her environment. Dr. Nelson reminded us that skilled interventions correlate with successful outcomes.
  • Find new ways to encourage active association involvement (70% of therapists do not belong to the APTA) by improving the cost/benefit ratio. Nelson suggested possibilities such as tiered membership, identifying the needs of individual members in order to provide each with specific information of interest and an expanded platform for idea sharing and community problem solving. He proposed involving a wider spectrum of contributors to present their ideas via TED type talks and the possibility of reduced corporate membership rates to therapists employed by large entities.

Dr. Nelson’s clear message was that it is definitely a time for the profession of physical therapy to move forward by shedding some of the past and planning thoughtfully to be a force that controls its destiny. If not, outside forces will undoubtedly control us.

Follow Abby Sims on Twitter @abcsims.


PT's Mark Parkinson's Awareness Month

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month and physical therapists are doing their part in working with those afflicted with a disease that affects so many, my father amongst them.

Studies suggest that exercise that begins immediately after a Parkinson diagnosis can have a profound effect on the symptoms and side effects of the disease. Learn how a physical therapist can help someone with PD stay as active and independent as possible by listening to @MoveForwardPT’s “Parkinson Disease and the Role of Physical Therapy,” radio segment

You can learn more about physical therapy's role in the treatment of Parkinson's by watching the video Parkinson Disease: Treatment by a Physical Therapist, listening to the APTA's podcast on Parkinson Disease and the Role of Physical Therapy  or reading the Physical Therapist’s Guide to Parkinson Disease,


Ten Tips to Get the Most out of your Physical Therapy Visit

In our recent newsletter, we shared Ten Tips about how to get the most out of your physical therapy visit. As with many things, you get out what you put in to your physical therapy visit. Here are Ten Tips to help you get the most out of your visit.

Ten Tips to Get the Most out of your Physical Therapy Visit

1. Be on time for all appointments. In fact, come a little early for your first appointment. There is always paperwork to sign and insurance information to be exchanged.

2. Come prepared for your first visit. Bring your Dr’s prescription, insurance card and work out clothing. If possible, download our new patient forms and fill them out prior to your first visit at:

3. Wear exercise clothes and shoes to physical therapy.

4. Put the Blackberry and cell phone away during your appointments. If you can’t bear to part with it, at least put it on vibrate so it does not disturb other patients. Please, do not talk on your cell phone during appointments.

5. Schedule enough time for your appointment so you are not rushed. Usually one hour of treatment time is sufficient, but check with your PT when planning your future appointments. Don’t forget to factor in travel time to and from the facility.

6. Come to physical therapy as prescribed by your physician – usually 2-3 times per week, depending on your specific condition. There is a reason why the Dr prescribed

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a specific number of visits. Don’t hesitate to ask your PT questions.

7. Remember, healing is a process and takes time. Healing doesn’t happen overnight.

8. Do your home exercises everyday. And if the PT tells you to do them twice per day, he/she really means twice per day.

9. Be Present. Focus on your physical therapy while you are at our facility. Put work and home issues aside. Focus on yourself during your visit — this is your time.

10. Come with a willingness to learn and heal. You will discover your body’s miraculous ability to heal itself.

Physical Therapy to Treat TMJ

The TMJ or temporomadibular joints, located in the jaw, are the most frequently used joints in the body and are used hundreds of times throughout the day. 


Although pain in the TMJ area is usually dental, like any other joint, pain can be musculoskeletal as well.  Some of the causes of TMJ disorders can be:


  1. Disc displacement: the disc can sublux or dislocate causing painful clicking, popping or locking
  2. Arthritis: both osteo (from overuse or trauma) and rheumatoid (due to autoimmune reasons)
  3. Muscular: repetitive overuse, muscle imbalances and postural changes that affects the forces on the disc and joint surfaces resulting in pain
  4. Other trauma; such as, major dental work, wisdom tooth extraction or sustained positions which can initiate irritation and cause pain.


Symptoms that often accompany TMJ disorders are headache, neck pain and shoulder pain.


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Effective and comprehensive Treatment of TMJ disorders should include a mouth piece fabricated by a specialized dental practitioner and physical therapy from a TMJ specialist.  The mouth piece will put the TMJ in a better

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resting position and reduce stresses on the joint, discs and muscles. 


Physical therapy with a TMJ specialist begins with a full musculoskeletal evaluation.  Treatment includes: specific postural re-education of the facial and neck muscles to restore their normal function.  Manual therapy is also used to stretch and release tight muscles and myofascial tissue, as well as mobilization of stiff joint capsules and ligaments to increase motion.   Instruction on proper home exercises and ergonomic education to prevent further problems is also integral to a successful treatment program.


For more information, please contact Erik Hofmann, Certified TMJ Specialist, Director, Larchmont Facility, Recovery Physical Therapy, (914) 834-7222.