Head and Neck Program


Head and Neck Program provides a wide spectrum of services, including Physical Rehab Services which can include lymphedema screening and treatment, swallowing treatment for dysphagia and neck/shoulder therapy for increased mobility, function and scar reduction.

Swallowing Program

Our Swallowing Program provides evaluation and treatment for individuals having difficulty with swallowing. Our services are available both on an inpatient and outpatient basis.

An innovative therapy being offered at St. Joseph Hospital to patients suffering from a swallowing disorder called dysphagia is resulting in dramatic improvements in lifestyle, as well as significant cost saving compared to traditional treatments. VitalStim™ Therapy is a non-invasive, painless treatment that uses controlled muscles of the throat used in swallowing. The treatment, the only one of its kind approved to market by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is prescribed by a doctor and administered by a speech-language pathologist who has received training and certification in VitalStim Therapy.

Using VitalStim to activate key swallowing muscles allows clinicians to implement an active regimen of therapy to create or re-learn functional muscle use patterns necessary to initiate or re-establish swallowing. Treatment sessions are approximately 30-60 minutes.

Lymphedema Program

Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid. Areas that may be affected are head, neck, and face. The Lymphedema Program provides Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) that consists of directional lymphatic massage, compression bandaging and garments, therapeutic exercise and skin care.

Possible triggers for lymphedema include:

  • Surgical removal of lymph nodes
  • Radiation over and around lymph nodes
  • Surgical incisions that are perpendicular to the lymph channels
  • Excessive scar tissue

Physical therapy for the neck and shoulder can help reduce pain and restore ability to move and function as normally as possible. This is achieved through scar massage, stretching, joint mobilization, manual therapy and exercise.

St. Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation takes a carefully balanced approach to patient care and programs that emphasize maintaining your quality of life. We are committed to the four core values of Dignity, Service, Excellence and Justice ensuring that you are treated with compassion and respect.