Rebecca Neal Joins Tidewater Physical Therapy, Expanding Lymphedema Therapy Services in Norfolk

Share Article

After watching her daughter successfully battle neuroblastoma cancer, Neal brings a strong connection to her cancer patients and enjoys using PT to help make a positive impact in their rehabilitation.

Physical Therapy Assistant and Certified Lymphedema Therapist Rebecca Neal, PTA, CLT has joined Tidewater Physical Therapy at the Kempsville clinic in Norfolk, Va.

Neal combines a personal passion for helping people improve their physical strength with her expertise on how to help patients live more active lives to every person she treats.

For years, prior to joining Tidewater Physical Therapy in September 2014, Neal worked as a Pilates instructor where she saw class participants utilize Pilates as part of their rehabilitation following various types of injuries.

That experience and those clients motivated her to attend Tidewater Community College where she earned her certification as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA).

Today, in addition to general orthopedic physical therapy, Neal specializes in treating lymphedema patients and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

“I love incorporating the core strengthening into patients’ plan of care,” Neal said, highlighting her background as a Pilates instructor. “I also enjoy treating cancer survivors. My daughter is a cancer survivor and I feel a strong connection with these amazing people.”

One such person, Neal said, was a young woman who conquered breast cancer but ultimately developed lymphedema.

When the natural drainage function of the lymphatic system is impaired – often by cancer treatment, trauma, or genetic predisposition – fluid can build up in the tissues. Eventually the problem, known as lymphedema, can lead to stiffness, pain and infection. Lymphedema can particularly benefit from a treatment program, Complex Decongestive Physical Therapy, administered by a licensed physical therapist like Neal.

In this particular cancer patient, Neal observed a reduction in limb swelling after Complex Decongestive Therapy and realized what a difference she could make in patients’ lives. With treatment, the patient was able to return to her normal daily activities and, Neal said, “her gratitude was incredibly moving.”

When she’s not in the clinic, Neal actively works to give back to the community.

Neal and her husband started the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) Run/Walk for the Kids in 2006, in honor of their daughter’s successful treatment of neuroblastoma.

“We wanted to give back to this remarkable place and their wonderful team,” she said. “This event has raised more than $750,000 for CHKD to help so many families.”

Neal said in the clinic her treatment philosophy is deeply rooted in listening. It’s always important to listen to people, she said, and be interested in them because it shows how much you care.

Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Kempsville Clinic in Norfolk is located near Sentara Leigh Hospital at 6161Kempsville Road, Suite 250 in the Halifax Building.

Its hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to lymphedema treatment, Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Norfolk Clinic offers comprehensive physical therapy services, arthritis and fibromyalgia management, manual therapy, neurological rehabilitation, pediatric orthopedic rehabilitation, sports injury programs, TMJ disorder therapy, fall prevention and work injury rehabilitation

For more information or to schedule an appointment visit or call 757.965.4890.


Founded in 1986, Tidewater Physical Therapy remains a physical therapist-owned, independent, outpatient physical therapy practice, with more than 30 locations across Southeast and Central Virginia and three Performance Centers.

For more information about Tidewater Physical Therapy, visit

Learn more about the Tidewater Performance Center at

Many of the physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of a healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of a patient's condition and create a plan to start on the road to wellness. The Tidewater Physical Therapy team will communicate with a patient's physician of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for continued treatment. Tidewater Physical Therapy will also work with insurance carriers to make sure services are covered by a patient's plan.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stephanie Heinatz
Consociate Media
Like >
Follow us on
Visit website