Getting wet to get well!
Kevin Foster, P.T., right, counsels his
aquatherapy patient to try for a little
more range of motion in the left knee.
Not all therapeutic recovery occurs on land, or in McLaren Bay Region’s Med Rehab exercise facility. For patients with weight-bearing restrictions, back problems, strokes, or hip or knee replacements, the 13 by 8-foot therapy pool may be how they ease in to their rehabilitation. Medically, it’s been proven that the sooner therapy starts, the better the outcome. In an almost weightless therapy setting, patients get their joints and muscles moving, and feel less stiffness and pain.
For instance, in joint replacement the physician may restrict the weight that should be placed on the new hip or knee. It may be as little as 10%. In chest-deep water, the body weighs only 10% of what it does on the ground. Range-of-motion, flexibility and movement are much easier in the therapeutic pool. We can adjust the pool’s water current to provide resistance during exercise.
The pool’s depth can be changed to meet each patient’s needs. It’s small enough for a therapist to be at arm’s reach of a patient during therapy. It’s shallow enough that non-swimmers can cast away their fear. Water temperature is a soothing 95 degrees, which reduces muscle spasms and tension. Patients with limitations can be lowered into the pool by chair lift.
Often back pain patients find it painful to exercise in the gym. In the water, the pressure on their lower back muscles is relieved. Pool therapy can help stroke patients achieve a more normal gait, while strengthening leg muscles. Our patients say that they gain flexibility and muscle strength faster in the pool, than they have previously experienced in the gym.
Whether in water or on land, physical rehabilitation is all about getting the job done, and moving on with life. As with all medical rehabilitation outpatient therapies, a doctor’s prescription is required.
For more information contact:
Center for Rehabilitation
McLaren Bay Region West Campus
3190 E. Midland Rd.
Bay City, MI 48706
Phone: (989) 667-6600