How Do I Know If Aquatic Therapy Is Right For Me?

Monday, December 06, 2021
Stacey T., Physical Therapist
Stacey T., Physical Therapist

The properties of an aquatic environment can offer a variety of benefits depending on the individual’s needs. Are you experiencing weakness? Water is denser than air, therefore providing more resistance and making it an optimal environment for getting stronger. Do you have pain? The thermal properties of our 91 ̊ F pool provide a relaxing and soothing environment for joints and muscles. The natural pressure of the water also helps to reduce tissue and joint swelling. Is it hard to move on land? Water offers a buoyant environment that reduces the amount of weight-bearing and joint compression forces, making movement in the water easier. For some orthopedic conditions, this means that movement and walking can be started earlier following injury. This can be psychologically boosting as the individual is able to work out and exercise with less fear of re-injuring. Painful joints that are difficult to move against gravity can be assisted or supported by the buoyancy of the water. Are you unsteady? Water offers a safe, yet challenging environment to work on balance as the hydrostatic pressure offers support and more time to recover from a loss of balance. Specific features of our pool at PLHS include an adjustable floor for a zero-depth entry up to six feet, with no climbing ladders or steps. It has removable supports bars, an underwater treadmill to work on gait training or aerobic conditions, jets to work on sore muscles, challenge balance or to make a workout harder. The pool also features underwater cameras that provide visual feedback to the patient as needed. Pool therapy can be done alone or in conjunction with a land-based program. Aquatic therapy sessions last anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the needs of the individual. It is just the therapist and patient in the pool and there is no need to know how to swim as the therapist will ensure you are safe and comfortable. Once the patients’ goals are met and it is time to transition to an independent program, together you and your therapist can decide what is the best option for you. If you are interested in knowing more or have further questions regarding pool therapy, feel free to call the rehab department at PLHS (605-882-7700) and we will assist you.

Written by Stacey Thury, Physical Therapist
Last modified on Monday, December 06, 2021