Northland Physical Therapy combines 35 years of experience with new programs and locations

By: Jacqueline Lehatto
From: The Kansas City Star, October, 2004

The three successful high school athletes pictured on the front of a Northland newspaper’s sports section recently had something in common: They had all been patients at Northland Physical Therapy & Rehab Services Inc.

"They were all severely injured, required surgery and had rebounded into star athletes," said physical therapist Frank Ferrantelle, clinic owner. "One of the biggest parts of our practice is treating collegiate, high school, middle school and elementary school athletes."

For 10 years Ferrantelle has stood on the sidelines at St. Pius X High School football games, ready to help if injuries occur. And in August — or before — he will open the practice’s third location in the new Northland Sports Center at Interstate 29 and Tiffany Springs Parkway. The new Physical Therapy Clinic and Sports Performance Center will be a part of the complex now under construction.

Northland Physical Therapy has served Northland residents for 35 years, and has always been on the professional cutting edge. Ferrantelle bought the practice at 2100 Swift Ave. in North Kansas City 14 years ago, and opened the Liberty location at 113 Blue Jay Drive, Suite 200, in 2002.

"It is the most established outpatient therapy practice in the entire city," he said.

It is also one of the most innovative. Northland Physical Therapy was the first outpatient clinic to offer aquatic, or pool, therapy in the area. Held in warm water at the Liberty Community Center pool, the program benefits persons with spinal or lower‐extremity injuries.

Other physical therapy services offered first in the area by the staff at Northland Physical Therapy include the Women’s Health Program and Anodyne therapy.

The Women’s Health Program, headed by physical therapist Shannon Temple, MPT, treats patients with abdominal pain, pelvic floor weakness, urinary incontinence and other female health issues. Low back pain associated with pregnancy can also be relieved at the clinic.

Anodyne therapy treats peripheral neuropathy, or the numbness and tingling in feet and hands that can be a side effect of diabetes or other diseases.

The practice sees many patients with temporomandibular joint syndrome, or TMI, a disorder of the jaw. "We are the No. 1 choice of dentists and oral surgeons in the area for nearly 20 years for nonsurgical treatment or, after‐surgery care, if surgery is needed," Ferrantelle said. Twice a year he lectures to dental students and oral surgery residents at the University of Missouri‐Kansas City School of Dentistry on TMJ disfunction and how physical therapy can help.

The practice also has an advanced spine program for patients with neck and lower back pain, headed by Craig Bolles, MPT, the only spine‐certified physical therapist in the Northland. The program emphasizes special evaluation techniques, which lead the therapists to the appropriate exercise for each patient.

Northland Physical Therapy has a unique balance program that identifies the reason for balance impairments and, based on the diagnosis, ways to treat it. Situations such as those involving uneven surfaces, dark areas and the need to reach something high — all difficult to negotiate if there is a problem with balance — are duplicated in the clinic. Home exercises and techniques for better balance are also prescribed.

The newest staff additions at both Northland Physical Therapy offices are two licensed massage therapists. Both are nationally certified and provide professional massage for painful or stiff joints and tissues.

Northland Physical Therapy has long been known for their progressive rehabilitation of work‐related injuries. A 4‐hour to 8‐hour per day program is frequently implemented to ready or transition the worker back to the job site.

All the practice’s programs are geared toward one goal: to improve the quality of life for the patients. Based on survey answers, more than 98 percent of patients report they had a positive experience at each facility, said office manager Stephanie Firebaugh, a member of the Northland Physical Therapy team for more than 8 years. "From the front desk staff to the physical therapists, we want to be focused on the patient," she said.

Ferrantelle recently added a new specialty to his own work as a physical therapist: He was certified as an ergonomics assessment specialist. As an expert on work‐site assessment and modification, and employee and employer training, he works with businesses to provide a more healthful work environment.

Northland Physical Therapy accepts all insurance plans, including Medicare and worker’s compensation. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Call (816) 474‐8877 for more information.