(Aug. 5, 2009)
Caleb Lee plays baseball but an elbow injury has temporarily sidelined him. Retired Greenville resident Cordelia Whitfield had neck surgery this spring and most recently suffered a fall.
Both are making strides toward recovery at East Carolina University Physical Therapy, an outpatient clinic owned by the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences.
The clinic recently moved from ECU Physicians Firetower Medical Office to a new location at 2325 Stantonsburg Road adjacent to ECU Neurosurgery and Spine Center on the corner of Arlington Boulevard and Stantonsburg Road in Greenville.
“The transition to our new facility has been great,” said Kevin Youngs, ECU clinical instructor of physical therapy who specializes in general orthopedics and baseball injuries. “Increasing our space to 2,000 square feet has allowed for more comprehensive care for our patients.”
The clinic is operated by ECU faculty who are licensed physical therapists and experts in evaluating and treating back and neck pain, tendonitis, sprains and strains, sport-specific and running injuries, herniated discs, arthritis and providing post-operative rehabilitation for adults and children. There are no technicians or assistants who provide patient care.
Lee played baseball last year for Virginia State before moving to Greenville.
At a recent appointment, Youngs helped Lee through a series of strengthening exercises, including limited ball throwing both inside and outside the clinic. Lee’s elbow suffered an injury due to weakness in his shoulder. He is working to strengthen the shoulder to protect the elbow, Youngs said.
“Hopefully within six to eight weeks of rehabilitation, he will return to pitching,” Youngs said.
ECU clinical assistant professor and certified manual therapist Dr. Jacob Thorp, who specializes in treatment of the spine, held Whitfield’s neck as she stretched her muscles to improve her motion.
“After some of her joints were surgically fused, it is important to regain movement in the joints that were overcompensating,” Thorp said.
Other faculty who see patients at the clinic include: Dr. Blaise Williams, who specializes in running injuries, directs a running assessment clinic and sees clients from throughout North Carolina to assess their running mechanics; Dr. Walt Jenkins, who specializes in sports injuries with a specific interest in golf fitness; Dr. Amy Gross McMillan, a pediatric specialist; Dr. Leslie Allison, who provides fall risk assessments and works in fall prevention in senior adults; and Dr. Denis Brunt, who conducts clinical gait analysis and is department chairman. Both Youngs and Jenkins consult with the ECU athletic department on the rehabilitation of student athletes.
A major initiative of the clinic is to provide a learning environment for ECU physical therapy doctoral students, who observe and treat patients with supervision from licensed physical therapists, Thorp said.
The physical therapy clinic is accepting new patients and takes most major insurances including Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Same day visits are available. For information, call 252-695-6322 or visit the Web site at www.ecu.edu/pt.