What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is a quantum leap forward in rehabilitation. At Palm Beach Aquatics and Physical Therapy, aquatic therapy is administered in a specially designed, technologically advanced pool and compliments traditional, land based physical therapy programs. Aquatic therapy or pool therapy consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. Treatment are provided only by licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants trained and ATRI certified in aquatic therapy and water safety. ATRI certification is currently the only specialty for aquatic therapy. This certification ensures that patients are delivered safe and proper aquatic therapy. This beneficial form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions. Aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance
One benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of 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 of weights. Using resistance, coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that can not be experienced on land.
Aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness. The hydrostatic pressure produces forces perpendicular to the body’s surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient. As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results after injury or with arthritic disorders.
Lastly, the warmth (88-92 degrees) of the water experience during aquatic therapy assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.
Patients Suited for Aquatic Therapy
Patients referred for aquatic therapy usually have difficulty exercising on land. The following conditions respond ideally in an aquatic setting:
Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Hip, Knee, Ankle and Shoulder Joint Replacements, Neck injuries-Shoulder injuries-Lower back injuries-Hip injuries-Knee injuries-Ankle-Foot injuries.
Most Post-Surgical patients-Gait and Balance disorders
Chronic pain-Functional Decline-Work related injuries requiring rapid rehabilitation
How Can You Take the Plunge Into Our Aquatic Therapy Program?
A physician's referral is all that is needed to participate in our Aquatic Therapy program. Each aquatic therapy session is individually designed to meet the patients needs and nature of his or her condition. A pool session typically lasts 40-45 minutes. Patients do not need to know how to swim to participate in aquatic therapy.
Patients work one-on-one with their own therapist and are never left unattended while in the pool. Treatments may include a warm up which may be followed by balance and stabilization exercises, strengthening, gait training, and endurance exercise. In-pool treatment may include the use of an underwater treadmill, in-pool steps, paddles, noodles, and weights. Land exercise and manual or hands-on therapy may also be prescribed in the patients plan of treatment.
Why Choose Palm Beach Aquatics and Physical Therapy
At Palm Beach Aquatics and Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to quality patient care. Patient satisfaction is our guarantee. Our brand new, state of the art facility, with private changing facilities and lockers, a courteous and friendly staff will leave a lasting impression of what an aquatic therapy experience should be.
Choose the Doctors' choice for Aquatic Therapy
Palm Beach Aquatics & Physical Therapy, Inc.
It is important to know however, that aquatic therapy is not for everyone. People with cardiac disease should not participate in aquatic therapy. Those who have fevers, infections, cuts or open wounds, or bowel/bladder incontinence are also not candidates for aquatic therapy. Always discuss this with your physician before beginning an aquatic therapy program.