Water can assist with improving mobility, flexibility, balance and strength while decreasing pain. A physical therapist prescribes exercises for you and the exercises are performed in a therapeutic aquatic therapy pool at one of our two locations:
- Rehabilitation Services - Tom Miller Road - The pool, heated to 90 – 92 degrees, includes an access ramp which allows easy entrance where a wide variety of resistance equipment is available for use. This unique pool features a movable floor which changes the depth of the water from 0 to 7 feet.
- Rehabilitation Services - New York Road - The pool is a multi-use pool at The Wellness and Fitness Center and is typically 84 degrees.
It's not necessary for you to know how to swim before initiating an aquatic therapy program. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant directs each treatment session. Access to the pool may be by stairs or lift. A swimsuit is required and both facilities have a changing area and shower available. We suggest you bring a cover up or towel, water shoes and should you need assistance with dressing and showering, a caregiver who can assist you during each treatment session.
How long will aquatic rehabilitation take?
Aquatic therapy treatment sessions are approximately 30-45 minutes long and specifically tailored to your individual needs. The aquatic treatment plan is coordinated with a land-based physical therapy plan and varies based on patient diagnosis.
What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from aquatic rehabilitation?
Most patients find that aquatic therapy provides a safe way to regain their strength, balance, range of motion and flexibility while at the same time manage pain and swelling. Aquatic therapy can be used to address multiple medical issues including:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Orthopedic and neurologic conditions
- Back pain
The benefits of aquatic therapy are achieved by using the properties of water such as buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the stress placed on the joints. This aspect of Aquatic Therapy is especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises.
The viscosity of water provides an excellent source of resistance that can be easily incorporated into an Aquatic Therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need for weights. Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress in a manner that cannot be experienced on land.
Aquatic Therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness. This pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results after injury or with arthritic disorders.
Lastly, the warmth of the water experience during Aquatic Therapy assists in muscles relaxation and vasodilation allowing for improved circulation to healing areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of Aquatic Therapy especially therapeutic.
It is important to note that Aquatic Therapy is not for everyone and a physician referral is needed.