As so many of our patients know firsthand, problems with the spine can affect everything, from walking to sleeping. Not only does the spine keep us upright and moving properly, it protects the spinal cord and nervous system.
The spine is complicated, but all you need to know is this. Our Spine Team includes certified physical therapists and PT assistants with the advanced training required to treat any injury or condition affecting the neck or back. These include:
Degenerative disk disease and degenerative joint disease
Spine therapy rehabilitation
Our Spine Team uses such specialized techniques as:
The McKenzie Method (MDT), a very effective therapeutic approach to treating all areas of the spine. The treatment principles of the McKenzie Method promote the body's potential to repair itself and do not involve the use of medication, heat, cold, ultrasound, needles or surgery. MDT allows patients to learn the principles and empowers them to be in control of their own symptom management, which can reduce dependency on future medical treatment. It is designed to identify the mechanical problem and develop a plan to correct or improve the mechanics and thus decrease or eliminate the pain and functional problems.
Advanced manual therapy, a type of hands-on care to diagnose and treat orthopedic problems, particularly of the spine.All of our spine therapists have received advanced residency training at the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (IOMT) in Woburn. We are proud to have four IOMT trained physical therapists:
Kristie Rowley MSPT, OMT, FAAOMPT, Fellowship-trained
Melissa Gagne DPT, Residency-trained
Deborah Towle MSPT, Cert MDT, Residency-trained
James Lawson DPT, Residency-trained
Meeks therapy, a comprehensive approach developed by well-known physical therapist, Sara Meeks, used to manage patients with osteoporosis, osteopenia and postural problems such as spinal stenosis and back pain.
Our Spine Team
Industrial Rehab Program Coordinator
Deb has been an integral member of the Marsh Brook Rehab team since 1998, specializing in industrial rehab, spine rehab, manual therapy and fitness. She has earned advanced certificates in Manual Therapy (CMT) from the University of St. Augustine, in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (Cert. MDT) from the McKenzie Institute, and completed her residency at the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (IOMT) in 2013.
Spine Team and Women’s Health Program Coordinator / Senior Clinical Specialist
Kristie Rowley, MSPT, OMT, FAAOMPT, is the Spine Team and Women’s Health Program Coordinator. She graduated from Simmons College in 1999 with a Master's of Science in Physical Therapy and completed the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy’s level 1 residency program in 2010 and the level 2 fellowship program in 2011. In 2012, she became a full fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. Kristie has advanced training in the treatment of women’s health conditions, spine care and manual therapy.
Senior Physical Therapist
James graduated from Franklin Pierce University and joined Marsh Brook Rehab in 2008. He specializes in evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders and injuries using the McKenzie Approach. James is actively pursuing his McKenzie MDT Certification and has completed the residency program at the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (IOMT). James earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and Wellness Promotion and a Chemical Dependency AS from Keene State in 2001.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Joe Shanley, PTA, CCI, joined our Spine Team in 2010. He is a Certified Clinical Instructor through the APTA, an Athletic Trainer and an Adjunct Faculty Member in Fisher College's PTA Program. He has advanced training in the Meek’s Method for osteoporosis, as well as Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment for the spine from the McKenzie Institute. Joe also serves on the Physical Therapy Governing Board for the State of New Hampshire. In addition, Joe spent 10 years working in industrial medicine on the Central Artery Tunnel Project in Boston and was a Medical Coordinator for the baseball venue at the Bay State Summer Games.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Kim joined Marsh Brook Rehab in 2002. She specializes in orthopedics, aquatics and spine rehabilitation. Kim is also certified in the Graston Technique and is a key member of the Spine Team. In addition, she has earned advanced certification as a group exercise instructor and Spinning instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association.
Physical Therapist / B.O.N.E and Fall Prevention Program Coordinator
Melissa Gagne, DPT, CCI, earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Franklin Pierce University in 2008. She is residency-trained through the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. As an integral member of our Spine Team, Melissa specializes in spine care, neurological rehabilitation, aquatic therapy, fall prevention, concussion treatment and vestibular rehabilitation, and is certified in the Graston Technique. In addition, she has her Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of New England and is a Certified Clinical Instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association.