In light of the current opioid crisis, the new physical therapist at St. Rose Health Center suggested pain sufferers might want to consider an alternative to medications.
Allison Widener recently joined St. Rose Therapy Services on the facility’s second floor. One of her priorities is helping people with chronic pain.
“Those who suffer from chronic pain don’t often think about physical therapy as a way to find relief,” Widener said. “But physical therapy is a great non-invasive choice for patients who don’t want more medication or who want to wean themselves off opioids.
“It is also a great option for people who do not want additional surgery or injections.”
Widener brings to her new position a background in treating back and neck pain, especially for pregnant women, and spinal cord and orthopedic injuries. She joins the other St. Rose physical therapist, Melanie Schroeter, who earned a doctorate in physical therapy.
“I have been working with Melanie only a short time and I already know we have very similar treatment styles,” Widener said. “We both focus on listening to our patients and treating the entire body, not necessarily just the one area that displays symptoms. One area often affects another.”
Widener is very aware that some people are not thrilled about starting therapy “because they think they will have to exercise constantly. To top it off, they think they won’t get better. But physical therapy is more than exercising.
“Melanie and I use a holistic approach to wellness, which allows the body to heal itself as it was designed to do,” she explained. “This includes proper nutrition, restful sleep, stress management and other factors.”
In many cases, the therapist offers hands-on treatment that can improve joint and soft-tissue mobility. Exercises tailored to the individual’s symptoms and diagnosis then may be incorporated to address specific areas. A doctor’s referral is not necessary to make an appointment; the number is 620-786-6515.
“I am excited to be part of St. Rose,” Widener added. “This is a caring and professional team, and it is great that St. Rose is aligned with Hays Medical Center.”
HaysMed is the sole owner of St. Rose; both facilities are part of The University of Kansas Health System.
Prior to accepting the St. Rose position, Widener was rehabilitation services director at Stafford County Hospital where she provided skilled-nursing and home-health care, and outpatient physical therapy. She also worked at Olathe Medical Center, focusing on orthopedic patients.
Widener is originally from Beatrice, Neb., and earned her bachelor’s degree in 2001 at Bethel College in North Newton. She received her master’s in physical therapy in 2004 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.
Widener and her husband, Michael, have three children: Regan, 10; Brynn, 8; and Anelle, 6. They live in rural Hudson.