Neurological Rehabilitation

Neurology rehabilitation is designed for patients with injury to the brain, spinal cord or nerves. People with neurological injuries or disease sometimes have difficulty moving freely, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. Rehabilitation facilities that specialize in these types of injuries or diseases focus on improving function and helping patients return to a more normal life.

Although there are more than 600 neurological diseases, common diagnoses include:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Myopathy

Most important, the quicker you enter rehabilitation therapy, the better chance you have of recovery. In fact, it has been shown that the sooner a person starts inpatient rehabilitation, and the more time they spend on therapy each day after an illness or injury, the better their recovery is likely to be.

What Should You Look for in a Neurology Recovery Program?

While treatment varies from patient to patient, all patients should participate in exercises that help with their individual problems. Therefore, comprehensive rehabilitation therapy should focus on the specific areas that will help you return to your normal daily activities.

To accomplish this, you should look for a rehabilitation provider that offers care for your individual needs and includes programs focused on improvements in:

  • Sitting
  • Balance
  • Walking
  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Swallowing
  • Proper diet
  • Speech
  • Memory
  • Dressing, bathing and daily life

Our inpatient rehabilitation programs are designed to help patients improve in all of these areas. Our team of medical experts is trained in helping neurology patients achieve the best recovery possible so that you can get back to a more normal daily routine as soon as possible.

We work with you to achieve five key therapeutic objectives:

  • Provide a quality rehabilitation program focused on your needs as the patient and the needs of your family
  • Restore your abilities to their maximum level of function so you can regain your highest level of independence and return home and to the community
  • Educate the patient, family, and/or caregiver on the specific type of injury or exacerbation of condition, and explain the plan of care and therapy consistent with treating the condition and meeting the patient’s goals
  • Provide ongoing psychosocial support for you, the patient, in a therapeutic environment
  • Support the patient’s long-term goals by offering continuous outpatient therapies.

Stroke Rehabilitation

Our Stroke Program is comprised of an experienced team of professionals who provide specialty care to help individuals regain function from the physical and psychological effects following a stroke. Through intensive therapy, our team is committed to providing the most complete and optimal recovery possible.

Elements of the Stroke Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Prevention, recognition, assessment, and treatment of conditions related to stroke and its complications.
  • Conditions may include bowel and bladder dysfunction, anxiety, depression, deconditioning, dysphagia, difficulty coping, falls, blood pressure problems, pressure ulcers, and recurrent stroke.

To help patients regain the most function possible after a stroke, our interdisciplinary team of clinicians’ works with them on an individual basis. We implement a treatment plan designed to maximize potential and complement medical interventions by providing an interdisciplinary team approach to care.

Our goal is to tailor an intensive therapeutic and educational program for each patient to help motivate and strengthen them physically and mentally with plans to return to the community

Common functional problems treated are:

  • The inability to walk, weakness or loss of joint movement.
  • Weakness or loss of joint movement.
  • Difficulty with coordination and balance.
  • Difficulty with daily activities such as eating, grooming. dressing, and bathing.
  • The inability to swallow.
  • Problems with memory and thought processes.
  • Difficulty communicating with others.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Plays an Important Role in Stroke Recovery

We are dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care for recovery after a stroke.

Early action is critical when a patient suffers a stroke. Stroke rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible after a stroke once a patient’s medical condition is stable and doctors have taken preventive measures against further strokes and complications.

Our intense inpatient program provides a personalized treatment plan for each patient and ongoing care with the goal of preparing people to return home independently or with assistance from family members or other care providers.

Research shows that inpatient rehabilitation results in:

  • Going home quickly
  • Short lengths of stay
  • Minimizing hospital readmission

American Stroke Association (ASA) Guidelines

Key recommendations from the ASA’s Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Guidelines provide the best clinical practices for adults recovering from stroke. First and foremost, the guidelines state that whenever possible, recovery should happen in an acute inpatient rehabilitation setting over a skilled nursing facility (SNF).

The guidelines suggest there is strong evidence that organized, interdisciplinary stroke care – such as that provided by an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) – not only reduces mortality rates and the likelihood of institutional care and long-term disability, but also enhances recovery and increases independence in activities of daily living. To this end, all patients who may qualify should be evaluated by IRF clinicians so the proper level of care for each patient may be pursued. According to the guidelines themselves, “the consistency of the findings in favor of IRF referral suggests that stroke survivors who qualify for IRF services should receive this care in preference to SNF-based care.”

Every patient is treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Patients admitted to an IRF benefit from specialized, intense therapy and nursing care for medical and functional needs that should prevent them from going to a less intense level of care.

Our Stroke Program Helps Improve Skills by Focusing on:

  • Maximizing your independence, health and mobility
  • Daily activities of living such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing, and homemaking
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • Communication through speaking and writing
  • Swallowing
  • Improving memory and judgment
  • Speech and language
  • Balance and coordination
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Self-image

Treatment delivery and intensity of service is determined as part of the individualized plan of care and will typically include a combination of 30- to 60-minute therapy sessions for three or more hours most days.

The Therapy Team

The patient, patient’s family, loved ones and caregivers are the most important part of our rehabilitation team. Our team of health professionals will work together with the patient and the patient’s caregivers toward recovery from a stroke.

Our interdisciplinary rehabilitation team specializing in stroke rehabilitation includes:

  • Physicians specializing in rehabilitation providing daily oversight
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Physiotherapists who work on problems with movement, walking, balance and coordination
  • Occupational therapists who help patients regain independence with eating, bathing, dressing, writing and other daily tasks
  • Certified speech therapists who help patients recover speech, language, cognitive and swallowing skills
  • Orthotic/adaptive equipment specialists
  • Nutritional counselors
  • Case managers/social workers
  • Neuro/clinical psychologists

Caregiver Support

Since family is often an important part of the recovery process, the rehab staff provides stroke education and training to close family members.

A social worker, nurse or case manager will help the patient and his or her caregivers arrange for the help and equipment that will be needed at home after treatment. Other activities may include stroke education classes as well as a stroke support group.

Education and Discharge Planning

It’s important for the patient and family to receive instruction in many areas to help facilitate the readjustment to a fulfilling lifestyle. The case manager will assist with the needs of the patient after the rehabilitation journey has been completed with making the necessary arrangements for equipment, outpatient services, and home services.

A few topics of discussion at discharge may include:

  • Understanding the medical, physical, and emotional effects of stroke
  • Nutrition
  • The adjustment to disability
  • The availability and use of adaptive equipment
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Community resources
  • Community reintegration
  • Orthotics use and practice

Brain Injuries

Our Brain Injury rehabilitation offers comprehensive care to address physical dysfunction, cognitive impairments, and behavioral issues. Our therapists have specialized skills and training designed to help them recognize the unique needs of brain-injured individuals and provide consistent and structured rehabilitation.

Our facility offers an electronically-secured and video-monitored rehabilitation unit to provide our patients with a secure and safe environment. The unit is equipped with a low-stimulation dayroom to allow individuals to receive three hours of therapy, five days a week.

To help patients regain the most function possible after a brain injury, our therapists work with each patient on an individual basis. They implement a therapy plan designed to maximize potential and complement medical interventions by adhering to an interdisciplinary team-based approach to care.

Loss of Function and Common Problems

The loss of function following a brain injury is different for every person. Loss of function is mainly due to:

  • The parts of the brain injured
  • How much of the brain tissue was damaged
  • How much bleeding and swelling occurred from the injury
  • Age
  • Other medical conditions
  • History of a prior brain injury
  • Loss of consciousness

Some of the most common problems experienced by patients after brain injury include:

  • Weakness or total loss of movement or controlled movement
  • Numbness, pain or odd sensations
  • Decreased ability to concentrate on tasks
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Difficulty with speech – not able to find the “right” word to say
  • Difficulty coordinating movements
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with planning and making decisions
  • Poor safety awareness
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Agitation or confusion

Just as no two people are alike, no two brain injuries are alike. Treatment and rehabilitation vary from individual to individual. Our therapists are experts in providing individualized, specialized and advanced brain injury rehabilitation.

Rehab in Amazing Healthcare Inpatient Rehabilitation.

Therapy may include:

  • Physiotherapy to work on sitting, balancing, walking and transfers
  • Occupational therapy to work on dressing, feeding, bathing and other self-care skills
  • Speech therapy to work on swallowing, diet recommendations, speech, memory and self-awareness

We use standardized improvement measures to track our patient outcomes and ensure that we are providing evidence-based services that are best suited to assist our patients in making the most gain possible during their therapy. These measures include length of stay, discharge destination and return to acute care.

Caregiver Support 

Family caregivers and friends are critical in the recovery from a brain injury. Family and friends, as well as the brain injury survivor, should be the primary members of the rehabilitation team. Providing care for a person with a brain injury can be a very stressful and frustrating time. It is critical for caregivers to remember to pay attention to their own personal needs in addition to those of the brain injury survivor.

Social workers, or any member of the rehabilitation team can offer support to the brain injury survivor’s caregivers, and this is an important component of our rehabilitation program. Team members are prepared to provide family members with information and/or additional resources throughout the rehabilitation process.

Family education about prognosis, how to help a loved one, and how caregivers can get help for themselves is critically important to us.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Our Spinal Cord rehabilitation offers comprehensive rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries, either traumatic or non-traumatic, for patients needing a specialized and coordinated process to amplify a patient’s physical, emotional, and psychological ability. Patients benefit from neuro-psychological treatments that maximize independence in self-care, activities of daily living, and mobility.

Our intense program provides ongoing care for patients. The goal is to prepare them for a return home independently or with assistance from family members or other care providers. Rehabilitation that is initiated soon after a spinal cord injury helps improve skills and helps patients move forward.

Our Rehabilitation Team

Our interdisciplinary rehabilitation team is committed to helping each patient and family progress to recovery. This specialized team evaluates and develops a personalized treatment plan designed to help each individual recover and develop the skills needed to return home and live as independently as possible.

The Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation team includes:

  • Patient/caregiver
  • Physicians specializing in rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Case managers/social workers
  • Neuro/clinical psychologists
  • Nutritional counselors

Rehab in our Inpatient Rehabilitation center

Our Spinal Cord Injury program is a specialized inpatient rehabilitation program dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care for recovery after spinal cord injury. It focuses on the physical and emotional effects of your injury with the goal of helping you recover to your maximum potential.

  • Physical therapy focuses on exercise routines designed to strengthen and maintain existing muscle function. Our physical therapists will also help you learn how to use any required mobility devices.
  • Occupational therapists help you learn techniques for managing self-care activities such as dressing, bathing as well as everyday activities such as home management. They will also provide instruction for equipment that will help you better perform these activities.
  • Speech therapists provide training regarding breathing and swallowing.

The program focuses on:

  • Teaching adapted activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Managing bowel and bladder control
  • Addressing any social issues
  • Improving psychological adjustment
  • Promoting a positive self-image
  • Maximizing your overall mobility, health and independence

Caregiver Support 

We know the critical role caregivers and family members play in helping their loved ones recover from a spinal cord injury. We also know it can be stressful at times. Our care team offers support and information to help caregivers and other loved ones understand the recovery process after a spinal cord injury and how to best help their loved one. They also help direct caregivers to the right resources so they can get help and support when they need it.


To help our patients with amputations move forward, we begin working with them as soon as medically possible after the amputation. We strive to help them regain lost abilities, prevent pain complications, improve wound healing and prepare them to return home independently or with assistance from family members or other care providers.

Our Amputation Program is offered by a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of professionals with specialty training, experience, and credentials for management of medical and functional needs.

Our amputation team strives to provide effective and evidence-based care related to the specific needs of the amputee population. The program is tailored to restore strength and confidence, regain function and mobility, and return individuals to an independent and satisfying life. Our amputation program is also accredited by CARF and the Joint Commission.

In addition, we offer an amputee support group. And, no one is in a better position to understand about living life with an amputation or supporting a person with an amputation that someone that has been there. An experienced peer can offer encouragement and information from a personal perspective. At the Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin we offer our monthly amputee and amputee caregiver support group on the first Tuesday of each month at 2:00 pm in the Lighthouse Conference room. These meetings are free to amputees who are looking for support or a loved one who is in need of resources and support from other caregivers.

Our Rehabilitation Team 

Our therapists work hand-in-hand with doctors and nurses who specialize in amputation rehabilitation.

Members of the team may include:

  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Prosthetists
  • Orthotic/adaptive equipment specialists
  • Case managers/social workers
  • Nutritional counselors

Focused on achievement, the care team meets regularly to monitor progress and response to treatment. Discharge planning begins upon admission and involves the patient, caregivers and the entire rehabilitation team to ensure a smooth transition to home or to another level of care if appropriate.

Levels of Service 

We offer intense inpatient services in a rehabilitative environment, for patients who need daily physician oversight and 24-hour rehabilitation-focused nursing care. Our setting is for patients considered by their physicians to be medically stable and physically able to begin a comprehensive rehabilitation program consisting of 15 hours of therapy over the course of a week.

Pre-prosthetic Rehabilitation 

Our pre-prosthetic rehabilitation programs focus on strengthening the muscles necessary to support and be successful with the prosthetic device and training patients about stump care.

Post-prosthetic Rehabilitation 

Once a prosthesis has been fitted, our therapists work with patients to learn to use the prosthesis and how to incorporate it into their activities of daily living.

Program Services 

Our amputation rehabilitation program helps improve skills so patients can move forward.

Physical therapists focus on:

  • Improving overall mobility, health and independence
  • Restoration of functions that can be restored or adaptation to new levels of function
  • Walking safely either independently, or with a temporary or permanent walking aid such as crutches or a walker, and how that need might change with or without use of a prosthesis
  • Transferring to/from different surfaces
  • Complete strength and range of motion exercises
  • Balance and coordination improvement
  • Using an artificial limb (prosthesis)

Occupational therapists focus on:

  • Safely performing activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing and homemaking
  • Caring for the residual limb
  • Assessing necessary environmental adaptations for work or home

Treatment delivery and intensity of service is determined as part of the individualized plan of care and typically includes a combination of 30- to 60-minute therapy sessions provided throughout the day by physical and occupational therapy. Speech therapy is included if clinically appropriate, and social workers and case managers may work with patients to adjust to emotional issues that may arise as they move forward after an amputation, as well as assist in procuring equipment and services that the patient might need in order to return home.

Therapeutic Goals 

Our hospital uses standardized improvement measures to track our patient outcomes and ensure that we are providing competitive services that are best suited to assist our patients in making the most gain possible during their therapy.


Our orthopedic team is comprised of an experienced team of professionals lead by a physiatrist and provides comprehensive orthopedic physical rehabilitation. Diagnoses range from fractures and dislocations to nerve damage and are usually the result of a fall, sudden injury, planned orthopedic surgery, or age. The areas on the body most commonly affected include the neck, shoulder, arm, hand, spine, hip, knee, foot and leg. Other orthopedic rehab team members include physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, and a case manager to oversee the patient’s progress from admission to discharge.

The overall goal of our orthopedic program is to prepare the patient for transitioning back to home and into the community. Accordingly, a number of objectives are established based on the patient’s individual needs.

These might include:

  • Gait training
  • Stair climbing (if indicated)
  • Transfer training
  • Joint management
  • Nutritional support
  • Proper body mechanics
  • Muscle strengthening and endurance
  • Fall safety
  • Dressing, bathing, toileting
  • Operating a vehicle

The rehab team closely monitors several areas of concern for orthopedic injuries including proper skin care for the surgery site. For orthopedic operations that require substantial range of motion therapy, such as knee or hip replacement rehab, the team works to strengthen the surrounding muscles to improve movement, stability, and addresses ambulatory and lifestyle issues affected by the injury or surgery based on the patient’s individual needs. Patients and their families are taught how to compensate for the injury and also shown ways to attain maximum independence by managing the activities of daily life.