Aquatic Therapy

At McLaren, not all therapeutic recovery occurs on land. For patients with weight-bearing restrictions, back problems, strokes, or hip or knee replacements, the aquatic 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.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

  • Improves muscle tone and strength
  • Improves endurance
  • Increases cardiovascular function
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Increases circulation, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, balance, and coordination

Find Aquatic Therapy Locations Near You

Patient Stories

McLaren Health Care

"Dr. Kennedy, thank you for your skills, expertise, kindness and care before, during and after my surgery. Because of you, I am having fun getting back to all the things I enjoy, especially dancin...

McLaren Health Care

"Thank you, Dr. Goetz, for returning to Northern Michigan. You are a kind and talented physician and orthopedic surgeon. Making the decision to have a knee replacement is a difficult one. Your con...
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