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    Services & Specialty Centers

    Physical Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine

    The outpatient physical therapy center at South Nassau Communities Hospital provides comprehensive, collaborative care which includes physical, occupational and speech therapies – all under one roof.

    A team approach is used in the management of neurological impairments and musculoskeletal injuries or diseases, including:

    • Sports Injuries
    • Nerve entrapment, including carpel tunnel syndrome
    • Stroke and traumatic brain injury
    • Speech, swallowing and language disorders
    • Parkinson's Disease and multiple sclerosis
    • Amputee and prosthetic training
    • Neck and back injuries, including sciatica
    • Post- joint replacement and rehabilitation
    • Balance and vestibular problems
    • Lymphedema therapy

    Our philosophy puts you at the Center of Care
    With a holistic approach to rehabilitation that focuses on the achievement of realistic goals, our philosophy is that you are the key to your own recovery and your active participation in your therapy is vital. We work closely with you to identify treatment goals and design an individualized therapy program to help you attain the highest possible level of function.

    All Under One Roof
    The wheelchair accessible facility offers a full range of rehabilitative services under one roof. Free parking is available.

    Physiatrist — a board-certified specialist in rehabilitation medicine is on our staff to help coordinate your plan of care, work closely and provide feedback to your referring physician.

    Physical Therapy — You are evaluated by physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who implement a therapeutic program to improve your range of motion, strength, function, balance and gait and educate you about proper body mechanics and teach you how to prevent re-injury.

    Occupational Therapy — Occupational therapists help you maintain independence by focusing on improving your ability to perform activities of daily living, your physical skills and learning to use adaptive equipment in your daily routine. Work- skills training is also available.

    Speech Therapy — Expert intervention is offered for a wide range of speech and swallowing disorders. Treatment is provided to children and adults of all ages. Adaptive devices may be part of the therapy, which focuses on the improvement of communication skills, swallowing ability and cognitive deficits.

    The Benefit of Collaboration
    With this team of rehabilitation professionals working hand-in-hand, you benefit from their combined expertise and coordinated approach to treatment. Your case, along with that of every patient, is reviewed weekly, at interdisciplinary meetings. A unique aspect of SMART is the presence of a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His role is to serve as a liaison to your referring physician, and to coordinate the various aspects of therapy so that each discipline focuses on complementary skills. This ensures that your therapists, if you are seeing more than one, are "on the same page," and recovery can progress at a steady pace as you work toward a clearly defined goal. Combining the physiatrist's keen understanding of the body's mechanics and structure with a staff of experienced professionals, we plan and implement personalized rehabilitative or therapeutic programs that promote short- and long-term health and wellness, with:

    • Advanced diagnostic technology – such as electro-diagnostic testing, to determine the extent of a patient’s functional deficit and the degree of nerve or muscle damage
    • A wide range of rehabilitative and therapeutic equipment – an individualized plan may include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, exercise and balance machines, along with strength and conditioning equipment, designed to rehabilitate specific joints or parts of the body
    • Special therapies for breast cancer patients, including hand and lymphedema therapy
    • Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy (SMART) Center — The increase of sports – as well as work-related orthopedic injuries – and the number of people with neuromuscular, occupational, and speech or hearing conditions – has increased the demand for specialized comprehensive rehabilitative and therapeutic medicine. Our SMART Center offers skilled care, advanced technology and inspiration that empowers the patient and reduces the possibility of recurring injuries.
    • Comprehensive educational services — Because the road to recovery can be challenging, Ricardo (Eric) Cruz, M.D. Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and his team work closely with family members and the patient’s primary care physician to develop and facilitate a successful rehabilitation program. Dr. Cruz is board-certified in general physical medicine and rehabilitation. He was fellowship trained in neurologic rehabilitation at the Weill-Cornell Medical College. In addition to general physiatry, his interests include stroke and traumatic brain injury. At South Nassau, Dr. Cruz heads the inpatient rehabilitation department as well as South Nassau’s Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy (SMART) Center in Oceanside, where he see patients with sports injuries, neuromusculoskeletal disorders, and performs EMG and nerve conduction tests, and procedures including trigger point and intra-articular injections.

    Our Facility — All services are provided in an 8,500 square-foot facility equipped with advanced diagnostic and treatment technology. A 3,400 square-foot physical therapy and occupational therapy gymnasium includes Cybex exercise equipment. Among the unique features are a weightless therapy system to alleviate spinal pressure by allowing you to experience the sensation of movement while your body weight is suspended, a polymetric machine to help you rebuild leg strength during a simulated jumping experience, and a Biodex Balance System to help patients with vestibular problems.

    Getting Here: The SMART Center is conveniently located at 440 Merrick Road in Oceanside, New York. In certain cases, transportation may be available for a nominal fee.

    Hours: the Center offers convenient hours that begin early and end late to accommodate a busy lifestyle. The Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

    Insurance: The Center accepts Medicare, Medicaid, No-Fault, and Workers’ Compensation, as well as most union and commercial insurance carriers. Our staff will be happy to discuss insurance coverage and payment plans with you.

    For additional information about South Nassau’s Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy program, or to schedule an appointment, please call (516) 255-8200.

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