Northern Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Associates began in 1978 with one clinic originally located on South 2nd Street in DeKalb, owned and operated by Tim Dunlop (now retired). As the DeKalb community and impact of the physical therapy profession in healthcare grew, so did Northern Rehab. In 1983, Northern Rehab expanded to a larger facility on Health Services Drive in DeKalb, then in 1995 moved to the Resource Parkway location in DeKalb, and in 2017, moved to our current location at 3266 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.
Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, additional therapists joined the practice, keeping Northern Rehab a local business owned and operated by physical therapists. Ken Olson, a physical therapist originally from Maple Park, joined Northern Rehab in 1996 and in 2006 became President of the organization. Olson states, “Northern Rehab has always been focused on providing high quality one-on-one physical therapy in a fun, friendly atmosphere and we strive to continue that tradition.”
A second clinic opened in Rochelle in September 2001 and is managed by Aaron Nevdal. Realizing the needs of patients within the local surrounding communities, in 2005, a third clinic opened in Genoa and has been managed by physical therapist and Genoa native, Melissa Payne Wagner. In 2010, a fourth clinic opened on Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, that was managed by Rob Larkins. In 2023, the opportunity arose to expand our DeKalb Sycamore Road location, so our DeKalb Lincoln Highway team relocated and merged with our expanded and renovated DeKalb Sycamore Road clinic. The company now includes 12 physical therapists and numerous support staff.
Several years ago, a rebranding process resulted in changing the name to Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists to reflect the clinical specializations the Northern Rehab physical therapists have developed including orthopedics, sports and conditioning, manual therapy, pediatric physical therapy, industrial physical therapy, pelvic floor physical therapy, aquatic physical therapy, and vestibular rehab.
Over the last 45 years, Northern Rehab has grown to be a leader in the physical therapy community, reaching a milestone that many businesses never achieve. When asked what contributes to the long-term success of Northern Rehab, Rob Larkins explains, “The communities we serve have been very generous and loyal in supporting Northern Rehab all these years, and we attempt to give back to the community to say thank you whenever we can.”
Chosen as DeKalb County’s Finest Best Physical Therapists twelve years in a row since 2012, Northern Rehab has a strong commitment to the community and strongly believes in giving back to the community that has supported them over the past 45 years. Most of Northern Rehab’s physical therapists and staff volunteer for a variety of community organizations, and as an organization, Northern Rehab enjoys supporting numerous local non-profit institutions.
In celebration of this milestone, and in appreciation to those who have contributed to their success, Northern Rehab is hosting a 45th Anniversary Open House. It will be held at Northern Rehab’s newly expanded facility at 3266 Sycamore Road in DeKalb on Thursday, October 5 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. A multi-chamber ribbon cutting will be at 4:30pm with DeKalb, Sycamore and Genoa Chambers. Tour the new expanded clinic, enjoy appetizers, raffle prizes, and community fellowship. Northern Rehab hopes you will stop in and join us in the celebration!