About PPTS Howell Center
Our Howell center opened its doors April, 2012. The center has been steadily growing alongside the historic and tight knit community. Services at this center include a certified hand therapist in addition to strong clinical specialists in orthopedics and sports medicine. We are proud founders and providers of Cleary University’s sports medicine program for their athletic department.
Howell Center Director
Nicole Hakala, PT, DPT, OCS, has been the center director since its doors opened. Nicole has a passion for treating athletic injuries and complex orthopedic surgical cases. She is also an expert in treating orthopedic spinal pathologies, helping patients conservatively treat their symptoms and avoid unnecessary surgical procedures. Nicole is a board-certified orthopedic specialist and recently completed her fellowship in Applied Functional Science from the Gray Institute. Nicole is now currently working toward her certification in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment.
Nicole’s education: B.S. from University of Michigan, DPT from Boston University.
LSVT BIG is a research-backed protocol that has many years of research behind it, originally tailored specifically for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This treatment protocol focuses on large amplitude movements to offset smaller movements typically seen in those affected by Parkinson’s. This helps to keep quality of life maximized by teaching individuals the effort needed to produce these movements. LSVT, however, is not exclusively for individuals with Parkinson’s. It can also be delivered to any population that has balance, ambulation, strength, and range of motion difficulties. Furthermore, the LSVT protocol can be adapted to those who have conditions that require assistance with ambulation and are wheelchair or bed-ridden.
In the current environment, COVID-19 has made accessing LSVT certified clinicians difficult. Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists is excited to expand the services we provide to include LSVT, making specialized care for those with Parkinson’s Disease and other balance/movement difficulties readily available. We are excited to provide this unique rehabilitation to this deserving population.
Brian Gardner is a physical therapist at Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists Howell Center. He received his Bachelors of Science in Marketing at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. He then went on to earn his Doctor in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to joining Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists, he gained clinical experience in inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, outpatient orthopedics and outpatient neurologic settings. His background has been a blend of working in outpatient and neurologic settings. He has an interest in treating orthopedic conditions and neurological conditions including Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, and Spinal Cord Injury. He is certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG protocol for Parkinson’s Disease.