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Rehabilitation Services at AVH

Rehab Services at Allegheny Valley Hospital

At Allegheny Valley Hospital our skilled therapists strive to provide the highest level of individualized care to our patients to return them to their highest level of function. We work closely with physicians to make sure our patients receive the best possible service and outcomes. With full-time therapists and physical therapy assistants, we are dedicated to helping you regain your independence. Learn more about our wide range of services which include physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as low vision rehabilitation and vestibular and balance programs


Our 17-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit offers comprehensive, therapeutic care for patients following a complex medical illness, surgery, or traumatic injury. Our compassionate, skilled professionals are committed to helping our patients return to their highest level of function.

Common diagnoses considered for rehab include, but are not limited to:

  • Stroke
  • Amputations
  • Brain injury
  • Hip fracture
  • Neurological injuries and impairments
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Trauma and complex orthopedic injuries

A multidisciplinary team — including a rehabilitation physician, social worker, nurses, therapists, dietitians, and a pharmacist — provides individualized care to meet the specific needs of each patient. The team meets regularly to monitor care and keep patients and family members informed.

Inpatient rehabilitation patients benefit from:

  • Intensive medical oversight available around-the-clock
  • Nursing staff specially trained in rehabilitation
  • Intensive physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy
  • Individualized coordinated care plans
  • Convenient access to other hospital medical specialties, including neurology, neurosurgery, pulmonary, cardiac, infectious disease, wound/plastic surgery pain, and radiology/diagnostic testing

To learn more about services and locations or to make a referral, call 724-226-7250.


About Physical Therapy
Physical therapy (PT) is a dynamic profession with an established scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance and promotion of optimal physical function.

Common Problems Seen

  • Fractures, dislocations and joint instability
  • Joint replacement
  • Inflammatory and degenerative arthritis
  • Chronic pain syndromes/fibromyalgia
  • Central nervous system disorders (stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Athletic and sports related injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopaedic injuries
  • Lymphedema
  • Tendonitis, bursitis and plantar fasciitis
  • Balance and vestibular dysfunction
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and head pain

Treatment Techniques and Available Tools

  • Gait, balance and mobility training
  • Range of motion and flexibility
  • Strengthening
  • Patient and family education
  • Comprehensive home exercise programs
  • Vestibular retraining and positioning
  • Lymphatic drainage and compression garments
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Post-surgical rehab
  • Pain control using modalities (electrical stimulation, ultrasound)
  • Manual therapies including trigger point therapy, myofascial release and joint mobilization
  • Bracing and adaptive equipment fittings


About Vestibular and Balance Physical Therapy
Vestibular and balance physical therapy is a specific specialty area of physical therapy that deals with the evaluation and treatment of dizziness, vertigo and imbalance caused by a wide array of medical conditions. The main goal of this therapy is to treat the symptoms of dizziness and imbalance and return the patient to an optimal level of functioning.

We work closely with local physicians to ensure our patients receive the best possible services and outcomes that relate to their problems of dizziness and imbalance.

Common Problem and Conditions Treated

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – a balance and dizziness disorder caused by detached crystals from the inner ear that can result in vertigo (a spinning sensation) that can last for several seconds or longer after specific movement (getting in and out of bed, rolling over in bed, looking up or down quickly, etc.)
  • Central or Neurological Vertigo Imbalance – caused by problems in balance centers such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, etc.
  • Vestibular Neuritis – an infection of the vestibular nerve of the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s disease – an inner ear condition causing vertigo, severe dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ear that is caused by a change of fluid volume within the inner ear).

Assessment and Treatment Techniques

  • Comprehensive evaluation including testing of overall range of motion, strength, balance and visual movements
  • Video lenses for precise testing of vertigo dizziness and associated issues
  • Gait, balance and mobility training
  • Patient and family education
  • Clinic and home exercise programs for balance and symptoms of dizziness


Does low vision affect the quality of your life?

The loss of vision can have a devastating effect on a person’s independence. For individuals over the age of 70, vision loss is a major cause for needing assistance to complete daily activities.

Complications from low vision include:

  • Falls and other physical injuries
  • Poor nutritional habits and medical non-compliance
  • Depression and disengagement from once enjoyed activities
  • Dependence on others to complete daily activities
  • The need to be placed in a more supervised or restricted living environment

Who can benefit from Low Vision Rehabilitation?

Anyone whose vision loss has affected their ability to, safely and independently, carry out their daily activities can benefit.

Common diagnoses of clients who might benefit from low vision rehabilitation include:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Head Injury and Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cataracts

Areas addressed in Low Vision Rehabilitation include:

  • Reading and writing
  • Money management
  • Medication management
  • Home safety
  • Self-care
  • Leisure activities
  • Home management tasks
  • In-home mobility

What will therapy consist of?

Our goal is to maximize use of the client’s remaining vision for completion of their daily activities.

Examples of therapy activities may include:

  • Improving visual skills by learning to use healthy parts of the eye for viewing a street signs or family photos
  • Learning to use an optical device (prescribed by your eye care professional) to improve reading ability
  • Training to use adaptive equipment to reduce the need for vision to complete tasks, such as using an automatic needle threader to sew a button on a shirt
  • Home evaluations where factors such as lighting and safety are evaluated and recommendations made

Treatment consists of an average of six sessions, or as long as it takes to meet the specific goals of our clients. To receive services, a referral is required from an optometrist, ophthalmologist, physiatrist, neurologist, or primary care physician.

The costs of therapy are covered by most insurance for clients meeting certain criteria. It is strongly recommended that a client’s vision be evaluated by a specialist prior to initiating therapy to ensure they are using their best corrected vision.

For more information about the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center please call: 724.224.2166.

Regain Your Independence

Find out how we can help you achieve normal function by contacting our facility:

Allegheny Valley Hospital
Outpatient Rehabilitation Center
Heights Plaza Shopping Center
1620 Pacific Avenue
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724.224.3732 fax