Those who suffer from back pain don’t often think about physical therapy as a way to find relief. But they may want to consider the experience of the new physical therapist at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center when seeking treatment.
Allison Widener, who has joined the St. Rose Rehab Services staff, has experience in back and neck pain; women’s issues, including pregnancy and urinary incontinence; spinal cord and orthopedic injuries; and cardiac education and rehabilitation.
"I have experience in virtually every area of physical therapy," Widener said. "But the back-pain treatment could be a niche for me. It is a hands-on, manual treatment for any area of the back, from the neck on down."
Widener pointed out that her back therapies are especially helpful to pregnant women. "I understand what they are going through," said the mother of two children, soon to be three. "A lot of pregnant women have back pain and they may be comforted to know there is a therapist here who can help."
She also noted she is aware that many patients who report to physical therapy — no matter what the reason — don’t have high hopes for success. She would like the chance to change that attitude.
"A lot of people who go to physical therapy think we just suggest a few exercises and send them home," Widener commented. "They say, ‘I’m sure this won’t work but my doctor told me to come here.’
"But then they are pleasantly surprised," she added. "We have many techniques to help our patients get better quickly, especially when we combine exercises and manual treatments. It’s a good combination for many different conditions."
The new St. Rose therapist is originally from Beatrice, Neb., and earned her bachelor’s degree in 2001 at Bethel College in North Newton. She received her master’s degree in physical therapy in 2004 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.
Before joining St. Rose Rehab, Widener was a physical therapist at Eclipse Health Care in Kansas City, Mo. She also cared for patients at Olathe Medical Center from 2004 to 2009.
Widener and her husband, Michael, are the parents of Regan, 4, and Brynn, 2.
Pam Perry, Rehab Services director, said St. Rose is fortunate to have someone of Widener’s experience on staff.
"Allison fits in perfectly with the rest of our team here at St. Rose," Perry commented. "Her knowledge and experience are great additions to the staff and the services we have provided to patients with a variety of needs for many years."