You want me to get in the pool for my therapy???
We are currently working with area pools and rec centers to set up times to use their pool for physical therapy visits. It has been well documented over the years that aquatic therapy can be beneficial for many patients, covering a wide scope of injuries. We have also seen a rise in the number of medical doctors that are requesting the use of aquatic therapy in addition to the traditional land based treatment.
So what are the benefits of using the pool for therapy? First, immersion in water has some instant physiological effects on the body. The increased pressure from the water, i.e. hydrostatic pressure, helps to push swelling out of injured areas as well as helping to increase the blood flow to the muscles. This allows the muscles to heal faster and patients to recover faster! Next the buoyancy of water based activities helps to take pressure off of the joints. This can be very useful for patients suffering from arthritic joints, those that are unable to put full weight through a leg because of a recent surgery, and those who need to move their upper body without pain. A study performed by Hinman et al. (2007) found that 75% of patients with either hip or knee osteoarthritis showed statistically significant improvement in their pain and function after 6 weeks of aquatic therapy. These results were maintained even 6 weeks after their treatment AND individuals enjoyed their therapy so much that 82% of patients continued some form of aquatic exercise after completing the study!
Certain heart conditions or open wounds can be a contraindication for aquatic therapy so make sure to consult your PT or MD before starting an aquatic program. More information will be available on our website in the next few weeks. In the meantime feel free to give us a call with other questions in regards to our aquatic therapy!
Hinman, Rana S., Sophie E. Heywood, and Anthony R. Day. "Aquatic physical therapy for hip and knee osteoarthritis: results of a single-blind randomized controlled trial." Physical Therapy 87.1 (2007): 32-4
Cole, Andrew J., and Bruce E. Becker, eds. Comprehensive aquatic therapy. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004.