As a young "snowbird," physical therapist Heidi Weidner has been coming to Sanibel Island for the past four seasons. And each season she returns to the team at Physical Therapy of Sanibel, a clinic that has provided rehabilitation services to islanders and visitors for 12 years.
"I love the population of Sanibel and the active lifestyles," said Weidner, who sings in the Sanibel Chorus and attends church at St. Isabel Catholic Church with her husband when on the island. "This is our second home."
At Physical Therapy of Sanibel, patients can regain strength, mobility, balance, endurance and function following injury, surgery or illness. All of the programs emphasize alleviating pain or deficits with an ultimate goal of providing patients and care givers with information regarding their injury process and preventing future problems.
Physical Therapy of Sanibel
"I enjoy watching the patients make progress here," Weidner said. "We have a great team."
Along with full-time physical therapist David Lackenby, Weidner helps her patients with a wide range of conditions, including vestibular rehabilitation. Symptoms of pressure or fullness in the ear, blurred vision with movement and balance problems combined with unsteadiness indicate the need for an evaluation by a physical therapist like Weidner, who specializes in vestibular issues.
Additionally, the clinic provides orthopedic and sports injury rehabilitation, a balance and fall prevention program, and care for back and spine issues. Weidner, who is also skilled in orthopedic rehabilitation, utilizes broader treatments for patients with neurological issues, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and post stroke rehabilitation, among others.
"It's very satisfying," she said of her work as a physical therapist.
During her 8 months each year in Southeast Wisconsin, Weidner works as a "independent" physical therapist filling contracts for growing clinics or clinics with a physical therapist on an extended leave. She came to Physical Therapy of Sanibel after its owner Don Olsen, who is from Milwaukee, Wisc., offered her the seasonal opportunity.
"I see a lot of places," Weidner said. "And feel this clinic has a great team and a healing energy."
Physical Therapy of Sanibel is committed to a quick recovery for its patients, so they can resume their daily activities the reason islanders and physicians have trusted the clinic for all their physical therapy needs. It is located at 4301 Sanibel-Captiva Road, and can be reached at 395-1097.