There is a certain manner about Dr. Trish Strazar, owner of Millennium Rehabilitation, that reflects her passion for helping people. As she gestured to the gym in the renovated Hinckley home where Millennium is located, there was a twinkle in her eye.
“This room was added onto the pre-existing house,” she explains as her staff members buzzed busily around the room. “It served as a doctor’s office for the last 60 years, and upon his retirement we moved in and began renovating. Though we’ve been in business in Hinckley for 15 years, we have only been operating at this location for a little over a year.”
Previously, the business had been located in the industrial park across the street. The current location lacks the cold, sterile feel that so often comes to mind when one envisions a hospital or doctor’s office. Instead, walking into Millennium Rehabilitation feels like walking into a home. It is comfortable and warm, feelings reinforced by its expert staff.
“We all have doctorates in physical therapy,” says Strazar. “Back in the day, you would have had to see a medical doctor to get a diagnosis and a referral to physical therapy. However, we lobbied for many years to get direct access to physical therapy. Now, since 2004, you come to us directly if something hurts you.”
Instead of going to a family doctor that does not specialize in musculoskeletal dysfunction, she explains, anyone suffering from a muscle, joint, or bone problem can go straight to a physical therapist for an evaluation.
“It only makes sense,” she laughs. “With an education in musculoskeletal dysfunction, we are the best qualified to treat muscle and joint issues. Our ability to examine an injury is superior—if you want to get on the path of getting better, come see a physical therapist. A lot of people think they need x-rays, CT scans or MRIs, but a lot of times you do not need imaging. If we feel you have a bone injury, yes, we want it imaged, but oftentimes it is unnecessary. You can skip the step of doctor visits since physical therapy is a direct-access service.”
Physical therapy at Millennium is a benefit covered by most insurances. Even if your insurance plan limits the amount of physical therapy visits, you can also pursue self-pay options. Like manicures, hair care, and massages, physical therapy is a lifestyle expense that can make you feel better. Unlike those services, though, personalized physical therapy can greatly improve quality of life, as it treats ailments from arthritis to balance disorders.
In fact, Millennium treats a variety of aches, including post-surgery rehabilitation, sport or work injury rehabilitation, neck and back care, arthritis pain management, and even injury prevention care. They have the ability to also treat tension headaches and migraines, sprains, strains, and fractures, pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, and vestibular problems.
As eclectic as her clinic is, Strazar never had the profession of “physical therapy” on her radar when she started college.
“I originally went to college as a chemistry and biology pre-med major with the goal of being an orthopedic surgeon,” she says. “A friend got me involved in athletic training, and I enjoyed being on the field when an athlete suffered an injury, rehabilitating them, and then seeing them score the winning goal weeks later. It was such an amazing feeling.”
After finishing her athletic training degree, she immediately sought out a physical therapy degree and began practicing in 1987. In 2010, she returned to school for her doctorate. The entire process has been fun for her as a passionate life-long learner, and she says she greatly values the relationships she has built.
“We have served as the athletic trainers at Highland High School from 2002-2016. When we were on the sidelines during a game and Johnny sprained his ankle, we were able to start treatment right away. I love that. And I love meeting people who come in here for any type of injury and watching them go from not feeling well or having a joint that hurts to pain-free motion in their daily living.”