Rehabilitation Services

The Rehabilitation Department at Starr Regional Medical Center serves both inpatients at the hospital and outpatients at the Athens and Etowah campuses.

The department offers all three disciplines:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy

Patients are seen for evaluation and treatment following physician referral. At Starr Rehab, we provide individual treatment programs for patients with many different diagnoses and problems. Our goal is to assist patients in achieving their optimal level of independence and function, therefore enhancing their quality of life and work.

Our rehabilitation team serves a wide range of needs and provides treatment plans for:

  • Chronic/acute pain, especially back and neck pain
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Acute orthopedic conditions
  • Post-orthopedic surgery
  • Work conditioning
  • PWPE (Physical Work Performance Evaluation)
  • Hand rehabilitation
  • Pediatric with Developmental Delay or Sensory Integrative Dysfunction

Our skilled Speech Therapy offers:

  • Modified barium swallow studies
  • Speech and language treatment
  • Swallowing rehabilitation, including VitalStim.

Referral and Evaluation Procedures

To receive rehab services, you must first consult a physician and receive a prescription for therapy. When you call or come in to schedule your evaluation, we will contact your insurance company for pre-certification and coverage information if this has not already been done by your doctor. Starr Regional Rehab accepts a majority of insurance plans as well as Medicare and TennCare. Your first appointment following pre-certification will be for registration and evaluation. This visit will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes. The therapist will gather all the information needed to analyze the problems you are experiencing and plan a personalized treatment program.

Goals will be set with patient input and may possibly include:

  • increase in range of motion
  • increase strength
  • increase activity
  • improve balance or coordination
  • decrease pain
  • improve speech and language skills
  • improve swallowing function

What to Bring on Your First Visit:

  • Insurance cards
  • List of medications
  • Prescription for physical therapy services
  • Loose fitting clothing in area to be treated
  • Aquatic Therapy patients: appropriate pool attire (swim suit or shorts and colored t-shirt); pool shoes optional; shower/toiletries optional.

Please note: To facilitate your first visit, some of the required forms you will need to fill out are included below. You may print them and bring completed form with you.


Aquatics Therapy Program

The Athens campus of Starr Regional Rehab offers the only aquatic therapy pool in the community. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress, and provides resistance and assistance to movement. Patients who have dysfunction that limits ability to bear weight and participate in landbased therapy can rapidly improve mobility, strength, and function. The aquatic therapy pool is especially beneficial for patients with:

  • Back problems
  • Hip/knee/ankle injuries and post-surgical patients
  • Strokes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis

Lymphedema Treatment

The lymph system is one of the body’s circulatory systems composed of lymph vessels and nodes, and organs such as the bone marrow, spleen, and thymus. Its functions include absorption and elimination of excess fluids as well as being critical to the body’s ability to fight infections. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or dysfunctional.

Patients who have experienced the following conditions are at risk:

  • Mastectomy
  • Lymph node removal
  • Recent surgical procedure
  • Radiation therapy
  • Slow or non-healing wounds

Preferred treatment for lymphedema is Complex Decongestive Therapy which includes gentle massage to reduce swelling, exercises that can be performed at home, compression bandaging and garments to aid and maintain decreased swelling, and comprehensive patient education.

Senior Wellness Program

The Athens campus offers wellness activities to senior citizens. To help seniors stay healthy, our professional staff has designed an individualized wellness and fitness program. Each participant will be evaluated on the first visit by a therapist or certified athletic trainer, and an exercise program set up based on specific needs. Thereafter, participants will log their own exercises at each session, under the guidance of a therapist who will also monitor progression. Each personalized exercise program includes warm-up and cool-down exercises, conditioning and strengthening exercises.

A physician’s referral is necessary to participate.Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.until 5:00 p.m. This program is not covered by insurance, however the cost is minimal.