Neal combines a personal passion for helping people improve their physical strength with her expertise on how to help patients live more active lives to every person she treats.
For years, prior to joining Tidewater Physical Therapy in September 2014, Neal worked as a Pilates instructor where she saw class participants utilize Pilates as part of their rehabilitation following various types of injuries.
That experience and those clients motivated her to attend Tidewater Community College where she earned her certification as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA).
Today, in addition to general orthopedic physical therapy, Neal specializes in treating lymphedema patients and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.
“I love incorporating the core strengthening into patients’ plan of care,” Neal said, highlighting her background as a Pilates instructor. “I also enjoy treating cancer survivors. My daughter is a cancer survivor and I feel a strong connection with these amazing people.”
One such person, Neal said, was a young woman who conquered breast cancer but ultimately developed lymphedema.
When the natural drainage function of the lymphatic system is impaired – often by cancer treatment, trauma, or genetic predisposition – fluid can build up in the tissues. Eventually the problem, known as lymphedema, can lead to stiffness, pain and infection. Lymphedema can particularly benefit from a treatment program, Complex Decongestive Physical Therapy, administered by a licensed physical therapist like Neal.
In this particular cancer patient, Neal observed a reduction in limb swelling after Complex Decongestive Therapy and realized what a difference she could make in patients’ lives. With treatment, the patient was able to return to her normal daily activities and, Neal said, “her gratitude was incredibly moving.”
When she’s not in the clinic, Neal actively works to give back to the community.
Neal and her husband started the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) Run/Walk for the Kids in 2006, in honor of their daughter’s successful treatment of neuroblastoma.
“We wanted to give back to this remarkable place and their wonderful team,” she said. “This event has raised more than $750,000 for CHKD to help so many families.”
Neal said in the clinic her treatment philosophy is deeply rooted in listening. It’s always important to listen to people, she said, and be interested in them because it shows how much you care.
Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Kempsville Clinic in Norfolk is located near Sentara Leigh Hospital at 6161Kempsville Road, Suite 250 in the Halifax Building.
Its hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to lymphedema treatment, Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Norfolk Clinic offers comprehensive physical therapy services, arthritis and fibromyalgia management, manual therapy, neurological rehabilitation, pediatric orthopedic rehabilitation, sports injury programs, TMJ disorder therapy, fall prevention and work injury rehabilitation
For more information or to schedule an appointment visit http://www.tpti.com/locations/kempsville/ or call 757.965.4890.