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New physical therapy clinic now open

Physical therapist takes doctors’ referrals, also will provide shoe supports

Published: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Early demonstrates some of the techniques he uses to treats patients. This deveice helps people with balance problems. Early sees clients of all ages, as long as they have a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy.

STERLING – A new physical therapy clinic wants to help you with that pain in your neck.

Sauk Valley Physical Therapy opened Dec. 17 in the new building in Sterling Commons shopping center.

Physical therapist Donnie Early is seeing patients 2 days a week at the clinic, and expects to extend the hours when need dictates.

“I feel we have a lot to offer the area,” Early said.

The clinic can see clients with 1 or 2 days’ notice, spokeswoman Meghan Wilinski said.

That promptness can make a real difference, Early said.

“If you have surgery, and you don’t get therapy for a week or 2, you’re going to stiffen up, so it’s important to get therapy in soon,” he said.

The clinic, Byron-based Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute’s seventh, is the first to open in the new building, which is intended to house up to four businesses.

Early, 31, of Grand Detour, provides pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation. The clinic offers work-injury prevention programs to businesses, and treats those who have suffered workplace injuries.

Early can provide a pre-employment screen for a company to ensure that a potential employee can perfrom the work. He also can customize physical therapy for a current employee so the therapy will be geared toward what that client does during work hours, he said.

Early described his physical therapy style as “hands on.”

“I like to make sure patients are stretching the right way,” he said.

Early sees clients of all ages, as long as they have a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy. He treats clients with sports-related injuries, back pain, shoulder injuries, or other needs.

Early is certified in Astym, a method or regenerating muscles or tendons and removing scar tissue. The treatment is used for tendinitis, joint problems or carpal tunnel syndrome, he said.

The clinic also can provide orthotics, which are inserts put in shoes for support.

The clinic has numerous pieces of equipment, such as a shuttle press for working legs or arms; an exercise bike that can work arms or legs; a Bosu, which can provide an unstable surface for improving one’s balance; and steps that can be adjusted to simulate bus steps.

Early received a master’s degree in physical therapy in 2005 from Maryville University in St. Louis. He has 6 years of experience as a physical therapist, including 2 years at KSB Hospital.

Early and his wife, Annette Early, have a 17-month-old daughter, Brenna.

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