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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wide Range of Therapeutic Help Found at Howell Rehabilitation Center

By Cathy Hollander

Alan Howell opened Howell Rehabilitation Center in Pleasant Ridge in 1998. 
“I wanted to help my patients get back to the activities they want to do, do them without pain, as well as have fun,” said Howell who lives with his wife, Chris, in Hyde Park. “I’m thankful to be able to do this for people.”

While studying physical therapy at Ithaca College in upstate New York, Howell lettered in three sports, He played Eastern Conference ice hockey, was an All-American in Lacrosse and football, so he understands firsthand the physical and emotional impact of athletic competition.

Alan Howell supervising an athlete in the underwater treadmill.
Howell came to Cincinnati to join orthopedic surgeons in a sports medicine practice. At that time, sports medicine was a new idea. He worked there for almost 20 years. He had enough experience and expertise to join the United States Olympic Committee medical staff. This took him to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, where he served as the head trainer for water polo and swimming. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, he was chief trainer for field hockey. He traveled to Havana, Cuba for the PanAm games to train the diving and synchronized swimming teams. Howell also coordinated sports medicine services for the 1997 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four.

During his work as an Olympic trainer, he worked with many athletes from gymnasts to track and field, weight lifting, Tai Kwon Do, canoeing, kayaking and speed skating. 

“I needed to be familiar with all their sports so I could keep them healthy so they could compete,” said Howell. “This was the culmination of what they trained for. It was a very emotional time.”

With his many experiences with what seemed to work, Howell opened his own practice to serve patients the way he believed they should be treated. Whether it’s walking in their neighborhood or playing a sport in leisure or competition, his goal is to help them achieve what they want to in order to feel healthy and feel good about themselves. 

“Each person isn’t the same as another; they don’t have the same goals and aspirations,” said Howell. Whether they have pain or limitations from surgery or an injury, he evaluates their deficits and dysfunctions and then uses a variety of modalities to address them. Through stretching and strength training exercises, cold laser treatments, electrical stimulation, traction and Pilates, the staff at the center works with patients to improve their situation.

“We have had tremendous success with the Erchonia cold laser,” said Howell. “It helps reduce inflammation and promotes strength changes by resetting muscle cells. It treats neuropathy by resetting nerve cells to make them start working again.”

Migraine sufferers see a reduction in pain through cervical traction and improved shoulder mobility by affecting the muscles that pull on the head.

In addition to providing a variety of fitness machines, he built a swimming pool with an underwater treadmill so patients recovering from surgery or an injury can begin to exercise sooner. The Hydroworx 350 treadmill allows walking or running up to ten miles per hour with therapy jets for resistance in a decreased gravity environment.

“In the water, you’re unloading your body so you don’t put as much stress on joints,” explained Howell.

The Howell Rehabilitation Center in Pleasant Ridge is a family business. His wife Chris teaches Pilates. His son Drew works at their Westside location adding his advanced manual therapy skills dry needling, which works on trigger points to help relieve muscle tightness, to the repertoire of treatments available to patients. The Howell Rehabilitation Center is located at 5400 Kennedy Avenue, Cincinnati, 45213.  Call 513-618-7878 or visit for more information.

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