is now Compass Physical Therapy!
Posted on December 4th, 2017

​In treating torticollis and plagiocephaly, I speak with a variety of parents who are referred by a variety of pediatricians.  One of the biggest misconceptions I hear is the phrase, "The doctor said she will outgrow it and we shouldn't worry about it."  This is not only false but can be detrimental to the development and growth of a child.  In my seventeen years of pediatric practice, I have never seen a problem just go away by ignoring it.  Usually, the problem gets worse and starts to affect different areas. Torticollis is a head tilt or favored head position often due to tight neck muscles. Plagiocephaly is a flattening of the skull in one or more areas.

Speaking specifically about torticollis, if it is ignored, as the child continues to grow it will likely get worse as bone typically grows before muscle.  The bone grows, the muscle gets tighter.  The resulting head tilt can cause issues with the jaw opening and closing which could lead to future TMJ issues.  A head tilt can also cause an altered sense of upright in the inner ear.  If the head is always tilted to one side, the brain resets this plane as horizontal so when the head is actually straight, it will give the sensation of leaning to the opposite side.  This is how habitual torticollis develops.  Along with the inner ear being altered, vision can be adversely affected for the same reasons.  Untreated torticollis can also lead to shoulder issues and the mechanics of the shoulder-neck complex can be compromised as the child grows.  The spine is at increased risk of scoliosis due to the compensation of the rest of the back for the head tilt.  All of these issues can contribute to developmental delay and abnormal movement patterns of a developing child. 

Untreated moderate to severe plagiocephaly can lead to various issues as well.  A shifted forehead will affect vision.  Preferred head rotation with plagiocephaly can lead to opposite side neglect in a developing infant which would have significant ramifications on the development of motor milestones with underlying muscle imbalances.  A flattening of one side of the head can affect facial features as well leading again to TMJ issues.  Once the fontanel or soft spot closes, the head shape will remain largely unchanged through the life of the child making that window of opportunity as an infant so critical in obtaining a rounded head shape.  Shifted facial features or a flattening of one side of the head will make it difficult to wear glasses, properly fitted football, softball, baseball or motorcycle helmets increasing the risk of head injury during those activities. 

The bottom line is this: if nothing changes with the way the infant is cared for, torticollis and plagiocephaly will not improve on their own.  Something must be different for issues to resolve.  If you are advised that a condition with your child will "just go away", dig further and seek treatment.  We see both Torticollis and Plagiocephaly daily and with direct access, you can get a PT evaluation without a doctor's referral.  Call us today if you have concerns about your child.  256-325-5400.  ​You will be glad you did!

Posted on November 28th, 2017

​Eagle Rehab had its humble beginnings in Madison in 2005 and has had the privilege of being the physical therapy clinic of choice for many Madison residents since that time.   In 2013, my roll with the company changed from CFO, a position I held since the founding, to the CEO and sole owner.   Over the last four years, I have been slowly navigating my way through the challenges of business ownership and have had a distinct interest in making the company my own.   Primarily, I didn't want to make any changes too quickly or lose the original focus of providing exceptional physical therapy services that we are known for.  The original business model has been very popular among our patients and it has been of utmost importance to preserve that philosophy.  As the name Eagle Rehab is still strongly associated with the previous owner, I concluded that the only way to truly make the company mine is to give it a name that reflects my vision for the future of the company.  I spent a great deal of time considering this major decision and one day I wondered out loud, "What name would encompass everything that we are trying to achieve?"  Thus Compass Physical Therapy was born.  
A Compass is a tool that gives you guidance, points you in the right direction much like Physical Therapists guide patients through the rehabilitation process after an injury, during pain, and with regaining function.  And as we are navigating our new direction as a company, it is a natural fit!  
To make it very clear, we are not a new company, we are not changing our staff, this is not a corporate take over and we are not part of a chain.  We are still the same group of people who has been serving the Madison community since 2005 with a focus on providing exceptional customer service and physical therapy that is beyond expectation.  It is our biggest compliment when a patient refuses to go anywhere else but to us when they need physical therapy services.  You will still see the same smiling, friendly faces you are accustomed to seeing when you enter our doors.  Think of it as an old favorite getting a new name.  
When you think of Compass Physical Therapy, we want you to think of two things: natural postural alignment and pediatric physical therapy.  These two things make us different from anyone else in town.  Of course, we still offer general physical therapy for things like total joint replacements and orthopedic surgeries but two areas set us apart.  
We are the only facility in Madison to offer the PRI approach.  In a nutshell, PRI is restoring the body to natural alignment to relieve acute and chronic pain and heal injury.  All of us are asymmetrical people and we all get out of alignment. This causes bones to hit wrong, muscles to strain and can lead to chronic pain and often injury.  We use the PRI approach not only to relieve pain and promote healing of injuries, but also to prevent future injuries.  I have been a physical therapist for 19 years and it is hands down the most effective treatment technique I have ever used or seen.  It works!  
We are the only clinic in Madison to offer Pediatric Physical Therapy.  We have a specialized wing in our facility just for young patients, an infant room for the babies and an indoor playground for toddlers and adolescents.  Our highly trained staff specializes in treating the developing body specifically.  Physical Therapy for a teenager is different developmentally then physical therapy for an adult and special care must be taken to address those differences during the healing process.  Not only do we treat infants with conditions like torticollis and spina bifida, but we also utilize sport specific programs for athletes to return them to play.  It is not enough to just heal the injury, you must also recondition that young person in their particular sport so not to cause re-injury when they return to the game. 
We are thrilled to be opening this new chapter in our 12 year history of serving the Madison community and look forward to being your Physical Therapy Compass for better health and wellness now and in the future!  
Stephanie Johnson, PT
Owner-Compass Physical Therapy