Rehabilitation Services: For Patients

Sarah Zerzan is a physical therapist and orthopaedic clinical specialist.
Sarah Zerzan is a physical therapist and orthopaedic clinical specialist. She also has expertise in cancer rehabilitation.

At OHSU Rehabilitation Services, our highly trained physical, occupational and speech-language therapists will work together to improve your health and quality of life. We can help you recover strength and function after an illness or injury.

You’ll find:

  • Expertise in a wide range of conditions
  • Effective therapies driven by the latest science
  • Leading-edge technology to help you function better

Our services

Physical therapists work with patients in well-equipped facilities.

Additional services

Our skilled therapists can help you recover, then work with you to prepare for and adjust to wearing a prosthetic device. We’ll help you relearn skills. We’ll also guide you through strength, resilience and flexibility exercises to ease pain and increase function.

Arthritis affects the joints, causing pain and swelling, and reducing your range of motion. Our therapists treat many forms of joint disease, focusing on exercise to improve motion and relieve pain. We offer pool therapy, for example, with warm water that allows you to exercise without pain.

In Astym therapy, specially trained therapists run tools across your skin in the direction of the muscle. This stimulates repair of tendons. It also breaks down scar tissue, allowing you to move more freely and with less pain. This short-term therapy treats many conditions, including overuse injuries, Achilles tendinitis and hamstring pain.

Whether you’re a weekend cyclist, bike commuter or elite racer, correct bike fit is essential. It improves your cycling mechanics and allows you to bike pain-free.

A physical therapist will take measurements, assess your posture and motion, and adjust your bike. The goals are to increase safety, comfort and performance, and to prevent injury. Therapists pay special attention to three areas where small misalignments can weaken performance or cause pain and injury:

  • Shoe-cleat-pedal
  • Pelvis-saddle
  • Hands-handlebars

The Biodex is a computerized strength training and testing machine. It measures and compares the power and endurance of specific muscle groups. It can assess your recovery from surgery or sports injuries, and identify muscle imbalances. It helps therapists choose the proper treatments and see when it’s safe for you to return to sports or work.

Our AlterG treadmill supports your body weight, enabling you to walk or run without pain or fear of falling. It also reduces stress on joints while aiding muscle recovery. It’s useful for athletes recovering from injury, for people with neurologic disorders relearning to walk, and others.

Our orthopaedic team can help you develop, maintain or restore movement lost to age, disease or injury. We also offer therapy after surgery to help you with smooth, pain-free movement.

Our team works with orthopaedic doctors and surgeons at three locations in Beaverton and Portland. Your team might include a physiatrist — an expert in treating muscles, joints and nerves who can prescribe prosthetics (artificial body parts).

Joint replacement: For total joint replacement, we offer “prehabilitation,” an exercise program to make you healthier and stronger before surgery. This approach has been shown to speed recovery. We also offer therapy after joint replacement surgery.

Our comprehensive concussion management clinic can help you with:

  • Balance
  • Vision and perception problems
  • Thinking and processing difficulties 

 Our team includes:

  • Physical, occupational and speech-language therapists
  • Athletic trainers
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Doctors and others

Our therapists offer expertise in helping dancers perform at the top of their abilities. We’ll assess your alignment and movement patterns, then offer deep tissue work, custom exercise programs and other methods. Our goals are to help dancers:

  • Prevent chronic overuse injuries
  • Rapidly return to full function after injury
  • Regain lost function
  • Stay healthy while performing

Our specialists offer exercises, including muscle-strengthening techniques, and other nonsurgical methods to help men and women control incontinence and reduce pelvic pain. Women often receive these services at OHSU’s Center for Women’s Health.

Our therapists have advanced training in pain management. We’ll teach you simple strategies to manage pain in your daily life. We use:

  • Exercise
  • Manual therapy (massage, skilled manipulation of joints and muscles)
  • Yoga
  • Relaxation
  • Brain-training techniques

Complex regional pain syndrome: Our therapists are also experts in managing complex regional pain syndrome. This uncommon condition affects an arm, leg, hand or foot after an injury. Symptoms include swelling, skin color changes and extreme, long-lasting pain out of proportion with the injury. 

The Specialty Program for Optimal Therapy is for patients referred to us from outside the Portland area. After treatment, our therapists will evaluate your needs and create a roadmap to guide your therapy once you get home. This service includes comprehensive consultations with your OHSU doctors and local therapists.

OHSU therapists have the training and skill to help you do pilates. This form of exercise strengthens your core — the muscles between your shoulders and hips. The exercises, sometimes done on special equipment, promote strength, flexibility and balance.

People who benefit from pilates include those who are:

  • Relearning to walk
  • Recovering from surgery or injury
  • Exercising during pregnancy 

Injuries from car accidents can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash-related neck and back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury and concussions
  • Dizziness

If you’ve been in an accident, we offer:

  • A physical therapy team with specialists in orthopaedics, spine and post-surgery care.
  • Certified hand therapists with lots of experience in treating traumatic wrist, elbow or hand injuries.
  • A neurologic team that can help you improve or regain your physical and thinking abilities after a brain injury.

We offer comprehensive services for a wide range of neck and spine conditions, including:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Scoliosis, with one of only two therapists in the Northwest trained in the Schroth Method of physical therapy
  • Spinal stenosis

Our physical therapists will develop a custom plan to strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight muscles. They will help improve your posture and mechanics at work, home or on the sports field.

An exercise program called prehabilitation can help you get in the best possible shape for major surgery. Those who do prehabilitation have fewer complications and go home sooner, research shows.

A physical or occupational therapist will assess your condition and recommend strengthening, conditioning and balance exercises. You’ll also learn how to prepare your home for your recovery, and what to expect after surgery in the hospital and at home.

Prehabilitation is typically done with cancer patients, people having joint replacements and those preparing for bariatric surgery.

A comfortable wheelchair that gives you maximum mobility can improve your quality of life. Correct fit also prevents medical complications and unnecessary expense.

The skilled therapists at our Wheelchair and Seating Clinic will thoroughly assess your needs, let you try a variety of wheelchairs and make recommendations. Clinics are for new wheelchair users and for current users who need their chairs replaced or modified.

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers will cover wheelchair assessments for patients with neurologic or other complex conditions.

Our team includes advanced training in women’s health and lymphedema. We help women stay active and healthy throughout life. Physical and occupational therapy can help you:

  • Keep control of your bowel and bladder.
  • Avoid pain and keep moving through pregnancy.
  • Reduce pain and muscle weakness that can follow pregnancy.
  • Maintain pain-free movement during cancer treatment.
  • Manage lymphedema, often linked to breast cancer.
  • Reduce cancer-related fatigue and pain.

Physical therapy specifically for women is also available through our Center for Women’s Health.

For patients

Call 503-494-3151 to:

  • Request an appointment. You will need a doctor’s referral.
  • Ask questions.


See OHSU Health rehabilitation locations across the Portland area.

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