Comprehensive Therapy Services in Greater Rochester

Rehabilitation services at Frisbie Memorial Hospital offers innovative programs designed to help patients safely return to their previous level of functioning. We serve patients throughout New Hampshire and Maine, and we believe everyone, regardless of age or fitness level, should enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.

Individualized Treatment Programs

Our highly trained and experienced physical, occupational, speech, and cardiopulmonary therapists treat each patient as an individual. We begin the treatment process with a one-on-one evaluation to assess the individual’s current physical condition, which will help us design a personalized treatment plan.

After the initial evaluation, the therapist will work closely with the individual, gauging progress and making adjustments to meet their personal goals. Our therapists will collaborate with additional therapists as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

Throughout the program, the therapist will instruct each person on how to perform in-home exercises, including injury prevention techniques designed to help the individual maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle after therapy. Our entire team is dedicated to the success of each person, making therapy an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

Frisbie Memorial Hospital’s physical therapists are specially trained, and have advanced certification in multiple specialties and techniques, to treat a multitude of diagnoses and conditions. They develop individualized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each person with the goal of helping them return to their previous level of functioning.

We treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Neurological conditions
  • Post-concussion therapy
  • Stroke
  • Headaches
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Orthopedic injury
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Vestibular (vertigo) and balance disorders
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Chronic pain
  • Back and neck pain

Outpatient physical therapy programs

Our therapists use innovative techniques, exercises and comprehensive modalities to treat a specific diagnosis / condition. Outpatient Physical Therapy programs include:

Cancer Rehab

The Cancer Rehab Program at Frisbie Memorial Hospital aims to increase patients’ quality of life, reduce depression, relieve fatigue, improve heart and lung performance, enhance muscular strength and endurance, and increase flexibility and balance. Our exercise program is rooted in the protocols established by the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (RMCRI), which is part of the Northern University of Colorado, and has been researching the impact of exercise on cancer patients since 1996.

We have adapted the RMCRI’s four-phase program and married it to our physical therapy knowledge to offer a multidisciplinary approach to patients experiencing chemo toxicity and deconditioning as a result of their primary cancer treatments.

Evaluation & Plan

We perform an initial evaluation that looks at the whole person and the phase of cancer treatment you are currently undergoing or whether you have completed your active treatment phases. During this initial evaluation, we will perform certain tests to measure your cardiovascular performance and strength at the start of the program, which will allow us to follow your progress over the course of the program.


Our core treatments are always one-on-one and set at a level appropriate to your cancer diagnosis and physical condition when you enter the program, and include individually tailored:

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Strength training
  • Balance training
  • Flexibility

Falls Prevention

Falls are among the leading cause of injury and death in the United States, particularly among older adults. Every year, one in three adults over the age of 65 will fall, of which, 30% will sustain a moderate to severe injury that requires costly medical intervention and/or hospitalization. Individuals with a history of falling oftentimes develop a fear of falling again, which could increase their risk of future falls and decrease their mobility and activity, leading to a decline in fitness level and a decrease in overall quality of life.

The Falls Prevention program is for individuals age 65 or over and/or have concerns about falling. The program is individualized to address each person’s unique needs with the goal of decreasing risk of falling, maximize safety, and increase one’s ability to living independently.

We treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Post-concussion disorder
  • History of falling
  • Vertigo

Our physical therapists work one-on-one to improve balance and increase strength and endurance. They use various balance assessments, include the SMART Balance Master*, which is a treatment and assessment system that uses interactive computer technology to guide and prompt patients throughout evaluation and treatment. Individualized treatment plans may include:

  • Balance training exercises
  • Strength training
  • Visual training
  • Activities of daily functional retraining
  • Ambulation and elevation training
  • Vestibular exercises (South Main Street Campus only)


LSVT BIG is a physical therapy and occupational therapy program developed to improve physical abilities for those individuals with Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s-like diagnoses. The LSVT BIG program was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson’s Disease. After treatment, individuals will notice an improvement in the ability to walk faster and with bigger steps, balance, and in activities of daily living.

The LSVT BIG program is individualized to meet each person’s specific needs, consisting of a total of 16 one-on-one sessions over the course of four weeks, with activities performed daily at home and carryover exercises to maximize outcomes. Our goal is to empower individuals with the potential to improve.

The LSVT BIG program is based on the founding principles of LSVT LOUD, which has been shown to improve vocal loudness, intonation, and voice quality nearly two years after treatment.

Lymphedema Management

Lymphedema is a medical condition that occurs when the lymphatic system is compromised due to surgery, radiation, injury, or congenital deformity within the lymphatic system. The result is an accumulation of fluid in the affected tissue and eventually the region of the body.

Common symptoms of lymphedema include swelling, hardening, and skin discoloration of a part of the body, which may feel full, fatigued, or has a heavy sensation. There may be a decrease in range of motion and/or the presence of a wound. Left untreated, there is a high risk of infection.

Our physical therapists are specially trained to treat lymphedema, earning national certification through highly-regarded clinical programs.

Lymphedema Management consists of Complete or Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is the most effective treatment for chronic extremity lymphedema. Types of CDT include manual lymphatic drainage, which is used to re-route the lymph flow around blocked areas and into healthy lymph vessels. Another form of CDT is compression therapy, which utilizes multi-layered compression bandages to improve the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump, exercises that activate the muscle and joint pump, as well as skin care to prevent infection.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a very gentle manual treatment which improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. The lymphatic system helps to protect us from infection and disease. It is part of the body’s immune system. Lymph fluid passes through lymph nodes which are connected by a network of lymph vessels. The nodes are found throughout the whole body. In lymphedema therapy, manual lymphatic drainage is used to re-route the lymph flow from blocked areas in to healthy lymph vessels.

Men’s Health Program

The Men’s Health Program is designed to help men who suffer from pelvic pain or have bowel or bladder issues, such as urinary or bowel incontinence, which affects 20% of all men.

Pelvic pain may be associated with constipation and/or voiding dysfunction such as diminished stream flow, increased urgency or frequency, or having difficulty starting or stopping urine. These dysfunctions may be caused by conditions such as enlarged prostate, pelvic floor muscle weakness, loss of sensation due to nerve compression, and/or a lifestyle that interferes with the normal function of the bowel or bladder.

Our Men’s Health physical therapist is specially trained in men’s health issues and will provide education on making healthier lifestyle choices, types of bladder irritants, voiding schedules, and self-management techniques. Individuals may also be scheduled with one of our Men’s Health therapists to receive instructions in pre-operative pelvic floor strengthening exercises prior to undergoing a prostatectomy.

Vestibular and Balance Management

The Vestibular and Balance Management program helps people overcome dizziness (vertigo) and balance problems. Our physical therapists hold advanced certification to help patients overcome dizziness and achieve a higher level of functioning. The therapists design individualized plans of care that will include utilizing various balance assessment tools, such as the SMART Balance Master, which is a treatment and assessment system that uses interactive computer technology to guide and prompt patients throughout the evaluation and treatment. Most patients with vestibular and balance problems receive benefit within a few therapy sessions.

Vestibular and balance management therapies are used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Stroke or CVA
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Post-concussion disorder
  • Fall history

Women’s Health Program

Our physical therapists are specialty trained and have expertise in the evaluation and treatment of conditions unique to women. There are some conditions that women may be hesitant to discuss with their health care provider such as pelvic pain, incontinence, and pelvic dysfunction. Millions of women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, which can lead to urinary and/or bowel incontinence, pelvic pain, muscle tension, incoordination, and weakness.

Our specialized women’s health therapists provide one-on-one care in a discreet and comfortable environment and will develop a customized treatment program for each individual. Treatments may include muscle reeducation, strengthening and relaxation exercises for pelvic floor muscles, lifestyle modification, postural education, soft tissue massage, spinal / pelvic alignment corrections, and biofeedback training.

Specialties / Techniques

Our physical therapists have advanced training and experience and will utilize the latest techniques designed to improve mobility, reduce pain and discomfort, and increase flexibility.

Aquatic Therapy (offsite)

Aquatic therapy facilitates muscle relaxation and circulation to decrease pain and sensitivity and improve body awareness, balance, stability and strength. The therapy is performed one-on-one, offsite in a pool with warm water (92 degrees), which supports joints by reducing gravitation pull. Aquatic therapy is for individuals of all ages. You do not need to be a swimmer to participate.

Aquatic therapy is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Athletic injuries
  • Joint replacements
  • Trauma
  • Spine conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Benefits of Aquatic Therapy:
  • Improved posture, alignment and stability
  • Improved muscle strength and endurance
  • Increased range of motion and flexibility
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Greater ease of movement
  • Improved agility
  • Decreased pain

Center for Pediatrics

The Center for Pediatrics is dedicated to providing skilled therapeutic outpatient services to infants, children, and adolescents. We develop individualized care plans to meet the unique needs of each child so that they may reach their fullest potential. We take a family-centered approach, engaging families throughout the process that includes comprehensive evaluations, education and treatment services.

Our programs are designed to improve activities of daily functioning

  • Sensory processing and self-regulation skills
  • Praxis / motor planning
  • Muscle tone and postural controls
  • Gross motor control and coordination
  • Fine motor control and coordination
  • Bilateral coordination skills
  • Neuromusculoskeletal conditions
  • Genetic and/or development impairments
  • Ocular motor and visual perceptual skills
  • Feeding and oral motor skills
  • Executive functioning skills
  • Social skills / pragmatic skills
  • Coping skills / emotional regulation

Specialized training to treat multiple diagnoses

Our therapists are specially trained and utilize innovative techniques, including the Pediatric Interactive Metronome as well as numerous regulation programs (How Does Your Engine Run, Zones of Regulation, and Quickshifts) to treat many diagnoses and conditions, including:

  • ADD / ADHD
  • Reflect integration / primary movement patterns
  • Autism
  • Post-concussions, pediatric stroke
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma and emotional dysregulation

In addition, when appropriate, we will work collaboratively with community-based service organizations for an integrated, longer-term intervention. Our treatment model places emphasis on all participants, from patients acquiring functional skills and achieving targeted goals, to parents and health care professionals working together to achieve those “magic moments.” We truly believe parents are the key to their child’s success.

Functional Dry Needling

When muscles tighten they become sore with knots, also known as trigger points. These can be painful, causing loss of function and, in some cases, irritation of surrounding joints, nerve and other bodily tissues. Functional Dry Needling is the process by which small, thin needles are inserted into muscle to stimulate and release trigger points. Relief is felt quickly as muscle relaxes, leading to increased flexibility and comfort. Our physical therapists are specially trained and certified in functional dry needling.

Functional dry needling is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Muscle spasms or trigger points
  • Fibromyositis
  • Tendonitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Chronic pain

Gait Analysis

Gait Analysis is performed by a physical therapist using a multi-dimensional approach. An individual’s gait is unique to them so a customized treatment plan will be developed that will address their medical condition, current level of activity, and the main difficulties that are preventing them from attaining their highest goals. The physical therapists utilize cutting-edge evaluating tools such as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment, the Functional Movement Screen, and the Breathing Assessment. These tools allow us to be well equipped to isolate and identify the areas that need work so that we can demonstrate the most effective corrective activities.

Gait analysis is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Sports and athletic injuries
  • Neurological dysfunction
  • Post orthopedic surgeries
  • Chronic back and lower extremity pain

Graston Technique (soft tissue mobilization)

The Graston Technique is a procedure used to detect and treat areas of scar tissue, or adhesions in muscles and other tissue that limit range of motion, that cause discomfort and pain. The Graston Technique is used to “break up” this restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are used to promote re-alignment of the fibers so they behave more like healthy tissue, leading to less pain and more mobility.

Graston Technique is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Achilles tendinitis (ankle pain)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist pain)
  • Neck pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tennis elbow
  • Back pain
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • foot and knee pain
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis (shoulder pain)
  • Scar tissue
  • shin splints
  • Women’s health issues (Caesarean scarring)

Benefits of Graston Technique:

  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation / recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Allows for continued engagement in everyday activities

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization is a form of manual therapy in which a physical therapist uses rhythmic, repetitive and passive movements of the joints to improve range of motion and quality of joint movement, and reduce pain. Joint mobilization is used on individuals that have a joint that has become swollen, irritated or misaligned as a result of injury, repetitive movement, or age-related wear and tear.

Joint mobilization therapy is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Arthritis (elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine)
  • Rotator cuff tears and sprains
  • Ankle sprains
  • Tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow
  • Sciatica

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Frisbie’s physical therapists evaluate and treat individuals that have limited ability to move and perform daily activities as a result of an acute medical condition or surgery. Our physical therapists establish personalized treatment plans designed to meet the unique needs of each individual that include strengthening exercises, education on a home exercise program, gait training, and balance activities. They work one-on-one with individuals to improve mobility so that they may return back to their previous level of functioning.

Our therapists are an integral part of the patient care team, working together to provide the best plan of care for each person during their hospital stay, and help determine the safest discharge plan from hospital to home, or to another health care facility.

Manual lymphatic drainage therapy is used to treat the following diagnoses & conditions:

  • Total shoulder, hip and knee replacements
  • Back and neck surgery or injury
  • Multi-trauma
  • Above and below knee amputations
  • Vascular surgeries
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac events
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Vertigo
  • Critically ill patients who have been intubated or on mechanical ventilation
  • Acute pain
  • Neurological disorders