Specialty Therapy Services

The rehabilitation therapy specialists at UVA Health will get you back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

Types of Therapy at UVA Health

We offer specialty therapy services for lymphedema, Parkinson's symptoms, low vision, dizziness, osteoporosis, incontinence, and concussion. We also offer dry needling and aquatic therapy for muscle pain. 

Lymphedema Therapy

Blocked fluid in your lymphatic system causes lymphedema. You'll know you have this chronic disorder by swelling in the arms, legs, face, neck, and torso.

Often, lymphedema happens as a result of cancer surgery. Our certified lymphedema therapists use various techniques, including manual lymphatic massage, exercise, and compression bandaging.

Learn more about lymphedema care.

Get Help With Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, or uncontrolled leaking of urine, can impact your quality of life. It may make you reluctant to leave home, socialize, or enjoy the activities you love.

You don't have to just live with it. At UVA Health, we offer a variety of therapies to help you regain control.

Building and training your muscles, as well as good habits with your diet and exercise, can make a difference. We have the latest tools to support and boost your healing. 

Therapy services for incontinence include:

  • Pelvic floor exercise 
  • Bladder training 
  • General exercise to improve overall muscle strength
  • Dietary education 
  • Electrical stimulations
  • Biofeedback

Learn more about incontinence therapy.

Therapy for Osteoporosis

You don't have to suffer from osteoporosis. We can help you prevent and treat this disease. You can also learn to avoid injury.

Learn more about osteoporosis care.

Low Vision Rehabilitation

If you have macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, or other visual impairments, you know the frustration and fear that limited vision can cause.

Our highly trained staff will determine whether there are techniques, eye exercises or assistive devices that would help you better use the vision you have.

Treatments focus on adequate lighting, contrast, magnification, exercises and compensatory techniques for activities of daily living. Low vision rehabilitation can lead to increased safety and independence in performing regular tasks, and improve your ability to interact and socialize with others. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist must refer you to the program.

LSVT BIG and LOUD for Parkinson's

Lee Silverman’s Voice Therapy (LSVT) BIG and LOUD are designed to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, or Parkinson’s-like symptoms.

LSVT LOUD focuses on increasing vocal loudness.

LSVT BIG focuses on increasing the size of movements.

LSVT BIG and LOUD treatments are provided by certified therapists. These successful programs are intensive and span over a course of 16 sessions (can be 16 PT/OT combined, 16 Speech, or both), spread over approximately one month.

Vestibular Therapy for Dizziness

Vestibular therapy addresses dizziness and balance problems. You can learn exercises that retrain your brain to reduce these issues and keep them from coming back. 

Whatever the cause of your vertigo, our therapy experts can work with you to fix your symptoms.

Learn more about dizziness and balance therapy.

Post-Concussion Therapy

A concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a forceful blow or jolt to the head and is a temporary dysfunction of the brain’s normal activity, which may affect your ability to learn and work. Our goal is to assist you in your return to your normal daily physical activities, to set you up for successful participation in work or academics. We offer treatments provided by our Physical Therapists, Occupational

Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists to address all of your needs.

Cognitive rehabilitation may be part of the treatment plan as return to work or school may be difficult following the injury. Cognitive rehabilitation may address symptoms including:

  • Attention deficits; difficulty concentrating, especially with background noise
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty remembering short term or even long term information
  • Impaired planning and organization
  • Impaired decision making/problem solving
  • Decreased mental flexibility; abstract thinking
  • Lack of initiative
  • Cognitive or mental fatigue; brain feels “tired”
  • Slow information processing; can’t think “quickly”
  • Decreased balance

Speech language pathologists are not only specialists in speech, language, swallowing and voice, but are also cognitive specialists who can help with the transition back to your work or school environment. Physical and Occupational Therapists not only assist in your return to normal daily work and school environments, but can also help expedite your return to sport. Following set protocols, we will safely and expertly prepare you for the successful re-integration into the physical demands of your sport without re-occurrence of symptoms.

Learn about concussion therapy.

Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic physical therapy is very simply, physical therapy in the water. Often, performing exercises in the water instead of on land can be easier on the joints.

The buoyancy effects of the water decrease the weight of gravity, offloading the joints and allowing the performance of exercises for strength and range of motion that would otherwise be difficult to perform on land. Before aquatic treatment, an evaluation is performed on land to determine your current limitations and whether or not aquatic P.T. is an appropriate treatment option.

Aquatic therapy has been successful in treating the following:

  • Pre/post-surgery
  • Decreased balance
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Low back pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Poor tolerance to land exercise
  • Hip, knee, or ankle pain/issues
  • CVA/Stroke


Dry Needling

Myofascial trigger points in muscle can cause pain at the site of the tightness and often refer pain to other locations. Many of our patients are noted to have these trigger points. These can limit muscle function.

Dry needling is a technique used to treat these trigger points. The treatment consists of small acupuncture style needles inserted into the muscle by a physical therapist. Dry needling is generally used along with other treatments to

  • Reduce pain
  • Improve range of motion
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Control & improve function