Focus on Aquatic Physical Therapy
Aquatic Physical Therapy is one of the fastest growing forms
of physical therapy today. In today's fast paced society, it
is imperative to get a patient back to his/her optimum level
of function as quickly as possible. Often, after an injury or
surgery, a patient's weightbearing is limited, which will
limit his/her activities on land. However, in water the
effects of gravity are reduced, and functional activity and
motion can occur.
The properties of water allow for a patient to exercise in a
relative "no impact" environment. When the water is
shoulder deep, a person will only weigh 10% of his/her normal
body weight. Utilizing the appropriate height of water, we can
accommodate patients of all heights and challenge them at
different levels. Our pool has four different water levels to
help accommodate all patients.
At New Life Rehabilitation, Inc. we see many joint
replacement patients who have restricted weight-bearing
status. We are able to get these patients stretching and
exercising soon after surgery without compromising their new
joint replacement. Aquatic therapy is indicated for patients
with low back pain, obesity, fibromyalgia, stroke, general
aging, ankle sprains, stress fractures of the foot and lower
leg, muscles strains, Achilles and patellar tendonitis,
ligament strains of the knee, dislocations, compression of the
lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine, and arthritic conditions
of the hip, knees, other joints, and postoperative knees,
hips, and backs.
Aquatic physical therapy has several benefits. While in the
water patients can increase their range of motion,
circulation, strength and endurance, balance and coordination,
trunk stabilization, gait, and muscle tone. The temperature of
the pool is kept at 92 degrees, which provides a
neutral to warm environment. This is conducive to relaxation
and optimal muscle movement.
Each therapy session is designed by a licensed physical
therapist, and usually will last for 45 minutes. Each patient
will be in the pool and supervised by a therapist or assistant.
Patients will utilize different equipment depending upon the nature of the injury.
Patients with a weight bearing restriction or gait problem use
a hydraulic lift chair to get in and out of the pool. At New
Life Rehabilitation, Inc. we have several pieces of
equipment to help stabilize, strengthen, stretch, and
challenge coordination while in the pool, including:
Steps - varying height
Weighted waist belts