Northern Rehab celebrates 20-year anniversary in Rochelle

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ROCHELLE – Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists is pleased to announce celebration of its 20th anniversary providing physical therapy in the Rochelle community.

Originally named Northern Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Associates, the company began in 1978 with one clinic originally located in DeKalb, owned and operated by Tim Dunlop. As the impact of the physical therapy profession in healthcare grew, so did Northern Rehab.

Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, additional therapists joined the practice, keeping Northern Rehab a local business owned and operated by physical therapists. Realizing the needs of patients within the local surrounding communities, Northern Rehab expanded their practice opening a second clinic in Rochelle in Sept. 2001, now managed by Aaron Nevdal, PT, DPT, OCS. 

Nevdal joined the professional staff at Northern Rehab after receiving his master of physical therapy degree from Northern Illinois University in 2002. In 2008, Aaron earned a doctor of physical therapy degree, and completed board certification in orthopedic physical therapy in 2009. Aaron is the lead physical therapist in Rochelle and also treats patients in the DeKalb main location on Sycamore Road.

“It’s a pleasure to be a part of Northern Rehab’s growth and development over the years, and to work in and serve the Rochelle and surrounding communities,” Nevdal said. “We’re very thankful to this community for their trust in Northern Rehab which enables us to provide physical therapy care and help people in the Rochelle area feel better and get back to activities they enjoy.”

As the needs in the community grew, the team expanded over the years to include Janet Truckenbrod Sarver, Mark Lovell and Teresa Kuehl. Truckenbrod Sarver, PT, DPT, a Rochelle native, worked in the Rochelle Northern Rehab clinic as a physical therapy technician from 2009-2013 while earning her degree and returned to the Northern Rehab team as a physical therapist in 2016 after receiving her doctorate of physical therapy from Northern Illinois University. Janet enjoys treating a variety of caseloads including orthopedics and sports related injuries, as well as pediatric and aquatic physical therapy.

Certified Athletic Trainer Mark Lovell has been on the Northern Rehab staff for over 14 years, enjoys working with athletes and patients of all ages and also serves as the Head Athletic Trainer at Rochelle Township High School. Teresa Kuehl, also a Rochelle native, welcomes patients with a smile serving as the receptionist and physical therapy technician in Rochelle.

“Many aspects of the physical therapy field have evolved over the years,” Truckenbrod Sarver said. “We focus on working with each individual for a personalized plan of treatment which includes hands-on manual therapy, exercises and education and guidance throughout their plan of care. We provide treatment for all ages including pediatrics, school aged athletes, the weekend warrior, beginner to advanced runners, golfers or bicyclists, parents coaching sports, cheer or dance teams, musicians, those recovering from injuries or surgery or from chronic illness, grandparents wanting to play with their grandkids, and those just wanting to improve their health and active lifestyle. Northern Rehab is committed to providing high-quality care to every patient we treat.” 

A law passed in 2018, called direct access, allows patients to be directly evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a prescription from their physician; this means individuals can contact a licensed physical therapist directly for an appointment and start feeling better right away.

For 20 years, Northern Rehab in Rochelle has grown to be a leader in the physical therapy community reaching a milestone that many businesses never achieve. Northern Rehab strives to treat patients in a professional, yet fun and friendly atmosphere and prioritizes treatment options that are less expensive, less invasive, less addictive and more personalized.

Chosen as Ogle County’s best physical therapists in 2019 and 2020, Northern Rehab has a strong commitment to the community.

“All of the physical therapists, as well as most of our other staff, volunteer in various organizations within the community because Northern Rehab strongly believes in giving back and supporting the community that has supported us for all of these years,” Nevdal said. “We organize several community outreach events such as food and coat drives, host a Choose to Move Northern Rehab Challenge event fundraiser to encourage physical activity while raising funds for local organizations, and support a variety of local organizations that promote healthy and active lifestyles.”

The private practice organization now includes 4 locations throughout the Northern Illinois area (Rochelle, DeKalb Sycamore Road, DeKalb Lincoln Highway, and Genoa) with 11 physical therapists and numerous support staff, most of them with local community ties working and residing in communities where they grew up. 

Several years ago, a rebranding process resulted in changing the name to Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists to reflect the clinical specializations the physical therapists at Northern Rehab have developed including orthopedics, sports and conditioning, manual therapy, pediatric physical therapy, industrial physical therapy, vestibular rehab, aquatic physical therapy and more.

“The physical therapists and staff at Northern Rehab are extremely grateful for all of the support from our community these past 20 years, and we look forward to continue to serve the people of Rochelle and our surrounding areas for many more years to come,” Nevdal said.