Kernersville Rehab Specialists
by Jennifer Owensby Eminge
Kernersville Rehab Specialists is a hometown family owned business that offers occupational, physical and aqua therapy.
Physical Therapist and Owner Tom Fish said Kernersville Rehab Specialists opened 13 years ago.
“There was one other clinic in Kernersville at that time,” he said. “There are still very few local family owned rehab centers.”
While many people think they have to be referred by a doctor to see a physical therapist, Fish said that is not the case. The exception is if a patient has Medicare.
Unique to rehabilitation centers in Kernersville and the Triad area, Fish said Kernersville Rehab Specialists offers onsite aqua therapy in a 93 degree above ground pool that is four-feet deep and is equipped with a 400-pound capacity chair-lift for transfer of patients with limited mobility.
“The water allows us to move and exercise with buoyancy, taking weight off of your spine and extremities so you can return to regular movement patterns,” he explained.
Fish noted other benefits to aqua therapy include decreases pain, easier movement of painful joints, decreases muscle spasms and rigidity to promote relaxation, decreases joint compression forces and allows for limited, early weight bearing, increases joint flexibility and range of motion, increases muscular strength and endurance, decreases peripheral edema/swelling, increases peripheral circulation, increases cardiovascular endurance, improves balance and coordination, improves trunk stability and posture, and increases patient morale and confidence.
Aqua therapy is great for a number of patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, compression, fractures, chronic pain, stroke, spinal cord/head injury, prenatal, orthopedic problems, severe weakness, obesity, neurological problems, trauma, sports injury, industrial injury, joint replacement, back and neck pain, osteoporosis, gait problems, and more.
Along with aqua therapy, Kernersville Rehab Specialists does occupational therapy, which offers therapies for the upper body and helps with problems such as carpel tunnel, tendonitis, bursitis, and more. They also offer physical therapy for pre- and post-op orthopedic muscles, skeletal issues, and spine, neck and back issues.
They also help with post-surgical and joint rehab, traumatic conditions, spinal dysfunction, repetitive stress injury, sports rehabilitation, deep tissue work, mobilizing and maneuvering of joints, and isolating and stretching individual joints.
“Everything we treat deals with pain or the loss of mobility to perform daily activities,” Fish said.
Along with having an experienced patient-centered staff, Kernersville Rehab Specialists maintains the friendly feel of a small-town office.
“I like to make therapy fun because some of the things we do are painful or uncomfortable,” Fish explained.
Patients can be referred to Kernersville Rehab Specialists three different ways: self-referral by calling and making an appointment, physician faxes over a referral with pertinent medical history, and workman’s compensation referral.
“Once we receive a referral, we check benefits and let the patient know beforehand their financial obligation,” he said.
During a patient’s first visit, they go through an evaluation with a physical therapist, along with an assessment and home exercise plan, and then they follow up with visits based on finances, schedules, and the severity of the situation.
“The average person comes twice a week for up to a month, depending on the diagnosis and severity,” he said.
Fish grew up in Winston-Salem and graduated from Parkland High School in 1981. He graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a degree in physical therapy in 2001.
Having participated in various body building competitions and with his interest in health and fitness, Fish felt drawn to the field.
“With my base of knowledge in diet and exercise, I wanted to help folks,” he said. “Now that I am older, I can better help people and I have a little more understanding, so it is easier to relate to my patients.”
Though he no longer competes in body building shows, Fish continues to bike, run, do body weight exercises and hot yoga.
Today, Fish works alongside his wife, Leanne Fish, OTR/L, who is an occupational therapist. They have two children, Ashley and Thomas, and three grandchildren.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 336-996-4980 or visit www.krstherapy. com. Kernersville Rehab Specialists is located at 1031 E. Mountain Street, Bldg. 318, Suite 101.