NORTHBOROUGH – Hilaré Bowie grew up in an environment of care and achievement.
From the time she was a small girl, she visited her parents’ physical therapy practice in Northborough. In doing so, she developed a commitment to rehabilitation based on each person’s goals.
“People know that something’s wrong when they can’t do something they love,” she said in a recent interview.
Whether it is a particular movement related to a sport, or a limitation in daily activities, “we work with them toward attaining their own individual goals,” Bowie said.
In serving their clients, Bowie and her team strive to build a therapy plan that mimics the key activities of each patient.
“One of my therapists was treating a snowboarder and wanted to create a treatment environment that emulated snowboarding,” she said. “He built a custom setup for his patient. He said he thought of it the prior evening, and when the patient arrived, he had rigged together a step and a BOSU ball to provide a platform similar to the balance needed for snowboarding.”
One of Bowie’s recent successes was with a young lacrosse player who had suffered a knee injury.
His twin brother, who Bowie was treating, mentioned the injury.
“I knew in my heart what the injury was,” Bowie said. “But I never like to create panic. This patient had suffered a PCL tear, which is extremely rare. It had to be surgically repaired, and then he started therapy with me. The patient had a full scholarship to Saint Anselm College and had to red shirt and missed the fall season. But he worked so hard that he was able to return to his team in the spring and compete.”
This speaks to Bowie’s dedication to individualized attention for each patient. Bowie and her team listen to their patients and create a plan to get them there.
“People tell us what they need and want,” she said.
Bowie’s approach is a contrast to physical therapy in the 1990’s, when machines were often used for rehab. A patient back then might gain strength in one particular muscle, but that would not translate to improvement in overall function.
“Science shows that it’s better to provide functional rehabilitation associated with common activities, such as climbing stairs or bending over the washer,” Bowie said.
Where Hardy Physical Therapy stands out is what Bowie refers to as their “old-school” approach in which the therapists work with patients as the need presents itself. Some patients come from other physical therapy practices where they had a 30-minute limit for each treatment session.
“No one is going to tell me when the work is done,” Bowie said. “We customize our patients’ experience. We aren’t on a stopwatch; we end each session based on the patient’s needs.”
In addition to helping athletes recover from injuries, Hardy therapists serve the “weekend warriors” – people who go out and hike Everest and then come for therapy because everything hurts.
Hardy Physical Therapy also treats patients 65 years and older who want to return to normal activities following joint replacements.
Bowie speaks of Hardy Physical Therapy’s deep roots in the community. They have been in the same location in Northborough since 1981 and also have an office in Hudson.
“People know us from my dad, Terry Hardy, who has retired. We work with the students in Hudson schools and at Algonquin. We sponsor school teams, golf tournaments, police events. Ours is a family-owned practice, and we make physical therapy a pleasant, individualized experience for anyone who walks through our doors.”
Learn more about Hardy Physical Therapy at https://hardyphysicaltherapy.com.
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