Presence St. Mary's Hospital
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital’s Innovative Physical Therapy Treatment Helps Patients Overcome a Wide Range of Ailments

Frankfort resident Carly Hetfleisch thought she had tried everything to alleviate her lingering toothaches. She consulted her dentist and tried several different toothpastes along with heat, ice and pain medicine, but nothing helped. Finally, a friend recommended Fascial Counterstrain (FCS) therapy.

“I was skeptical how physical therapy would be able help my toothaches and I had never even heard of Fascial Counterstrain before, but I had already tried everything else,” said Hetfleisch. All I can say is that it has been a life changing experience for me.”

FCS is a manual therapy technique in which the clinician uses only their hands to find and fix fascial dysfunction. Recent research has shown that nearly all painful conditions are accompanied by inflammation of the fascia.

Hetfleisch’s therapist–Steve Reiter, D.P.T., of Presence St. Mary’s Hospital (PSMH)–is one of the few physical therapists in the Chicago region providing FCS as a course of treatment. Dr. Reiter credits this innovative, hands-on technique with successfully treating ailments from chronic pain to cardiovascular health to speech impediments.

“Fascia is the connective tissue throughout the entire body that covers nerves, arteries, veins and internal organs,” said Dr. Reiter. “The key to Fascial Counterstrain’s success is the manipulation of certain trigger points that stimulate our different systems of the body.”

Ed Hayes, of Bourbonnais, had been dealing with a non-healing ulcer on his foot following two failed angioplasty procedures. Hayes is diabetic and suffers from peripheral artery disease (PAD). After two visit to Reiter, his foot swelling shrunk by more than 50%.

“The ulcer on my right foot is actually healing now,” said Hayes. “I never thought I would see this kind of progress from physical therapy.” 

Dr. Reiter says that the health improvements patients like Hayes’ experience from FCS can extend far beyond a healing ulcer or pain reduction.  “Vascular manipulations can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and can lead to improved overall health,” said Dr. Reiter.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Reiter or to learn more, please call 815.937.8220 or visit Dr. Reiter practices out of Presence Center for Health in Bourbonnais and Presence St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.



foot improvement PTEd Hayes’ foot prior to treatment and after two sessions of FCS


About Presence St. Mary’s Hospital
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital is a 186-bed acute care facility with a Level II Emergency/Trauma Center. Presence St. Mary’s Hospital serves Kankakee and the surrounding counties and is a designated Primary Stroke Center.  PSMH has also received national awards for Patient Safety, was named to the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Hospitals and to the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience by WomenCertified Inc., home of the Women’s Choice Award. 

About Presence Health

Created in November 2011, Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, with over 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, 20,000 employees, 4,000 medical professionals and a revenue base of $2.6 billion.

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