Tidewater Physical Therapy Announces New Balance Center

Tidewater Physical Therapy is pleased to offer new balance related therapies with the addition of clinician Rebecca English, PT, DPT, MSR to the practice’s Denbigh Clinic in Newport News.

English, who joined the practice last month, is the director for Tidewater Physical Therapy’s new Denbigh Clinic Balance Center program, which targets patients with balance, dizziness and mobility issues.

Rebecca English, PT, DPT, MSR

Rebecca English, PT, DPT, MSR

An expert in the treatment of neurological and vestibular disorders, English holds dual undergraduate degrees in physical therapy and occupational therapy, a master’s degree in rehabilitation and a doctorate in physical therapy.

“She is one of the premier physical therapists in the United States in the field of vestibular and balance rehabilitation,” said Tidewater Physical Therapy Founder and President Wayne MacMasters, PT, MSPT.

English specializes in vestibular dysfunction (inner ear and brain problems that affect balance), neurological and gait dysfunction, and concussion management. She is among the first physical therapists to offer balance related therapy on the Peninsula.

The Denbigh Clinic program can serve patients suffering from vestibular disorders, inner ear conditions, neurological deficiencies due to stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis or symptoms from a concussion.

“My understanding in this area there is not a program that specializes in balance, mobility and dizziness issues,” English said. “I’m excited to bring one here.”

The difference between treating balance patients and orthopedic patients, English said, is that those dealing with balance issues due to a disease or neurological problem, need to learn how to manage their symptoms and deficits. Physical therapy for those patients is about rebuilding strength and mobility as well as providing strategies to maintain their functional independence. That could include patient and family education, techniques for completing daily tasks or exercises to maximize movement and function.

English comes to Newport News from Charleston, S.C., where she helped establish balance services for Charleston ENT. English earned her degrees in occupational therapy and physical therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1997 and 2000, as well as a master’s degree in rehabilitation. In 2009, she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from A.T. Stills University.

English has also earned competencies from the Emory University School of Medicine in vestibular function testing and interpretation with an application in rehabilitation and in vestibular rehabilitation. She holds an advanced competency in the evaluation and treatment of complex balance disorders. She is currently a licensed physical therapist in Virginia and will receive her Virginia license in occupational therapy in 2016.

A nationally renowned speaker on balance and vestibular disorders, English is also an adjunct professor at the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Health Professions, where she teaches coursework related to vestibular dysfunction in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and neuro-residency program.

Under English’s guidance, the Balance Center’s fall prevention and vestibular rehabilitation program at Tidewater Physical Therapy will help decrease sensations of dizziness in patients as well as reduce the occurrence of falls through individualized treatment plans. The program is designed for patients with neurological disease or inner ear disorders suffering from symptoms of vertigo, poor balance and oculomotor disturbances.

Dizziness is the second most common complaint to primary care physicians and accounts for 11.3 million physician visits per year. A total of 40 percent of the population over 40 will experience a dizziness disorder at some point during their life, according to the National Institutes of Health.

These complex symptoms involve the inner ear, eyes, muscles and joints. A cause for these conditions can be difficult to diagnose. But now patients on the Peninsula will be able to get help from a national authority in the field.

English’s goal at Tidewater Physical Therapy is to ultimately grow the practice’s balance center into its own, freestanding facility. The center can treat patients with vestibular disorders, diabetic neuropathy, and general mobility issues.

Patients don’t need a referral to receive balance related therapy. All patients with symptoms of dizziness can make an appointment at Tidewater Physical Therapy regardless of whether they’ve received a diagnosis.

“I may not be the final stop but I can help direct patients to the right type of care,” English said. “I’m meeting them where they’re at and getting them on the final road.”

About Tidewater Physical Therapy:

Founded in 1986, Tidewater Physical Therapy remains a physical therapist-owned, independent, outpatient physical therapy practice, with more than 30 clinics, aquatic therapy centers and Performance Centers located throughout Southeast and Central Virginia.

The physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of a healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of a patient’s condition and create a plan to start on the road to wellness. The Tidewater Physical Therapy team will communicate with a patient’s physician or dentist of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for continued treatment. Tidewater Physical Therapy