From the Ground Up
Stephanie Rogers brings pain relief, mobility
STEPHANIE ROGERS, owner of Porters Neck Physical Therapy and Wellness, might be called physical therapist extraordinaire. Rogers treats a patient’s entire body, not just a specific pain or injury, and she does so with cutting-edge, research-based therapies.
“I opened my own office so I could offer comprehensive assessments that will do more than provide short-term relief,” says Rogers. “We go from toes to nose. If I treat just the back and not the reason for the back pain, then the success of treatment is short-term. I want my patients to leave my office and not have to come back.”
Rogers occupies a unique space in the physical therapy community. She earned her master’s degree in gerontology and her doctorate degree in physical therapy from Touro College’s School of Health Sciences. In keeping with her background and interests, many of Rogers’ patients are seniors; but she also treats young athletes, the middle-aged, and young and retiring vets. Her patients come to her with all types of issues, from sprains to recovery from rotator cuff surgeries to back pain to neuropathy.
A cornerstone of Rogers’ practice is the above-mentioned assessments she conducts. It starts with learning the patient’s specific issue and when and how it first occurred. Then comes the physical evaluation, which starts with the feet and moves up the kinetic chain. Through this process, Rogers sees how problems such as gait pattern changes, impaired balance, and structural changes, have resulted in pain and/or instability. Rogers then develops a treatment plan and goals specific to each patient. Every ten visits, she reassesses her patients and, if necessary, revises her treatment.
One of the unique components of Roger’s practice is that she provides so much more than traditional manual therapy. Though these innovative therapies may not be the norm, they are effective, Rogers says.
“All the therapies are research-based and have proven results,” she explains. “They work and they are phenomenal.”
Given Roger’s bottom-to-top approach, it isn’t surprising she starts with the basics—ensuring her patients stand, walk, and when applicable, run correctly. To meet this goal, she may make trim-to-fit orthotics in the office. The orthotics are based on computer-generated information about the patients’ balance and the trajectory of forces going through their feet as they walk or run.
For patients who are poorly conditioned or can’t bear their full weight after surgery, Rogers has them stand up and walk with a body weight support system.
“Many of my patients say they haven’t walked that way in years,” Rogers reports.
Another of Roger’s therapies is whole-body vibration, which NASA employs to help astronauts maintain and regain their conditioning before and after their space travels. It helps patients rapidly increase their strength, endurance, and balance.
Roger’s also uses a variety of therapies to help the body heal itself. They include infrared light, which is FDA approved and encourages cellular regeneration; the Bowen Method, which signals the body to repair damaged tissues; and cupping, which stimulates the body to heal acute injuries.
For Rogers, her work is her calling.
“I feel privileged and thankful for every person who walks through the door,” says Rogers. “This is why I was put on earth. If I can change one day in someone’s life, I can change their whole trajectory.”
To view more of photographer Daria Amato’s work, go to dariaphoto.com
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