Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Team love coming to work for one reason: their patients

Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Team love coming to work for one reason: their patients

When recovering from an injury, surgery, or illness, or working through pain, there’s an element of healthcare where it’s exceptionally important to have the right people on your side. Enter Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P.C., where a highly skilled team of physical therapists is dedicated to getting you back to your best life.

The Physical Therapy team at Great Lakes Orthopedics offers a wide range of programs and specialized services to help patients restore and maintain their physical strength, performance, and levels of function. Professionals there are on the leading edge of care, offering the most progressive treatment options and evidenced-based techniques to ensure the best possible recovery.

Paula Doering-Skurka, MSPT, ATC-L, CSCS at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P.C., works with her team of four physical therapy assistants (Tessa Catalan, Ashley Jones, Aaron Hodge, and Amanda Buzea) at both the St. John and Lowell locations to ensure patients are reaching their full potential of physical strength and function after surgery or an injury.

Doering said the team focuses on each individual patient when carrying out their specialized treatment plans, ensuring that this stage of their journey to healing is as productive and pain-free as possible.

“Physical therapy actually helps with pain control. And sometimes, by getting patients up and moving while increasing blood flow, physical therapy can help them feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically,” Doering-Skurka said.

“We always work to educate our patients on what’s going on in their bodies, and stressing to them when action is needed to treat a certain pain. In most cases, if left untreated, that pain will get worse over time if ignored, or it will cause other injuries or issues,” she added.

There is no age limit for physical therapy to be effective. The professionals at Great Lakes Orthopedics see everyone from children to the elderly and treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions including post-op knee and hip replacements, rotator cuff repairs, sporting injuries, work injuries, car accidents, falls, and more.

Aside from physical movement and exercise-type manipulations of the body, therapists also use ultrasound, electric stimulation therapy, cupping, dry needling, and kinesiology taping techniques, among others, to help patients recover strength and mobility after surgery, or to prevent patients from needing surgery in the first place. Physical therapy also can help improve balance and sports performance.

While surgery and prescription drugs can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, increasing evidence shows that conservative treatments like physical therapy may be equally effective and more cost effective for many conditions.

A typical appointment takes about an hour and a half.

“We spend a good bit of our time together talking through their conditions and educating our patients on the therapy we are doing together, but also on how to prevent further pain or injury and continue their recovery and good health after their sessions are over. This is a lot different than a typical doctor visit,” Doering-Skurka said.

Because the Great Lakes physical therapists see their patients so often, they tend to build a close relationship and mutual trust as they continue to create a sense of comfort with each visit.

“Having these personal relationships with our patients makes us truly enjoy and look forward to coming into work every day. Also, because of this great relationship we have with one another, our patients feel more excited about coming in for therapy which overall leads to a more successful outcome,” she said.

The continuum of care at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is a key factor in patient success.

“Something our patients really enjoy and find comfort in is that when something little comes up, we’re able to walk right next door and ask our doctors a question. If for some reason they aren’t there, we can shoot them a text or give them a phone call,” Doering-Skurka said. “As a practice, this is really special and time efficient.”

“We have such a great team. Dr. Keith Pitchford and all staff members really work to collaborate for our patients’ best interest.”

Ready to start focusing on pain relief, injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement? Contact the St. John office at (219) 365-0220 and the Lowell location at (219) 696-6353 to get started. You can also learn more about physical therapy and request an appointment online at .