Specialized rehabilitation services keeps Gillette residents close to home

Jan 30, 2018

Tim Bohlender is no stranger to doctor’s offices. As a physician and director of Campbell County Medical Group’s Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, he’s treated everything from colds and flu to broken bones and chronic illnesses. But when he suffered from vertigo a couple years ago, he struggled to find relief from the debilitating dizzy spells.

He tried steroids and while they helped relieve the symptoms of dizziness, nausea and feeling unbalanced, he was still struggling. Fortunately, finding relief wasn’t far away at CCH’S Rehabilitation Services. Certified neurologic specialist Ryan Schrock DPT, NCS, CSCS, was able to work with Dr. Bohlender on some different therapies of the head and neck that allowed the symptoms to decrease and, for the most part, have disappeared.

CCH Ryan Schrock, DPR, NCS, CSCS Rehabilitation Services“Neurologic rehabilitation ties to the fact that the neurologic system is the slowest healing system of the human body,” Ryan said.

Therefore, treating inner ear problems, concussions, vertigo and other neurologic problems takes time to correct and heal. For vertigo, there are a number of progressive movements that are used to clear the inner ear. For patients like Dr. Bohlender, those slow, continuous movements eventually equal relief and a returned quality of life.

“It was such a relief because it’s so debilitating,” Dr. Bohlender said. “You have to sit still and not move quickly. It can make you nauseous.”

Now if he has a flare up of symptoms or feels a little off he simply does some of the exercises or stops in at the rehab department for a quick therapy session with Ryan.

For Dr. Bohlender, being treated by Ryan wasn’t only life-changing personally, but it’s something he’s been able to pass along to other vertigo suffers as well. Sometimes Dr. Bohlender even calls Ryan into the Walk-in Clinic to see one of his patients right away.

“I’ve seen it (vertigo) throughout my career, but I’ve never had anyone who could effectively treat it,” Dr. Bohlender said. “To have somebody who has the expertise he does is very unusual.”

The specialized neurologic rehabilitation services are something that patients typically would have to drive as far as Denver to receive. But for Gillette residents, Ryan is just a quick drive away to Campbell County Health. And while Ryan’s path to Gillette wasn’t a straight line, it’s a service he enjoys providing to the community he now calls home.

Becoming a certified neurologic specialist almost didn’t happen for Ryan who had his eyes set on medical school. At one point, Ryan was a pre-med student planning to be a neuro surgeon, but after doing some more research, he realized there is little interaction with patients when you’re the surgeon. With that mind, Ryan turned his attention to specialized therapy.

“It’s the best decision I’ve made in terms of job satisfaction,” Ryan said. “I get to be involved in the whole continuum of care. I see the progression that’s made.”

In addition to seeing real results from the various exercises and therapies he helps patients work through, he gets to have a closer, ongoing relationship with patients than he would had he become a neurosurgeon. At the end of the day, Ryan said he enjoys his patients and seeing the progress they’ve made.

“I enjoy the chance to work with patients,” Ryan said. “I have patients invested in getting better. They’re critical players in getting better and managing their health. I love my patients.”

Physical therapy helps people address the illnesses or injuries that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives, and is used to improve a patient's quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention. Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services in Gillette, Wyoming offers the most comprehensive services in the region, treating patients in their homes, in the hospital and in our outpatient rehab facilities. Learn more by calling 307.688.8000 or visiting www.cchwyo.org/rehab.

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer