It is a regular occurrence to see our clients limp, grimace in pain or even wheel themselves into our clinic. During Aquatic Therapy sessions it is common to see clients hobbling on deck slowly with cane or crutches clinched in their hands. Posture is bent and movement is slow, difficult movements told in each step or move they make. Once many have made their descent into the water, one can see postures relax and movements become visibly smoother and less painful. During the next hour clients are giving specific exercises designed to target their current rehabilitation treatment plan. They are able to socialize and motivate other clients in the session. Upon exiting the pool, clients appear to be more limber, relaxed and proud of the progress they have seen unfold over the last hour. This scenario best describes ProActive Rehab’s ability to use the positive effects of water as a rehabilitation tool as well as a viable exercise option for people who are unable to exercise safely on land.
So…what is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy refers to water-based treatments or exercises of therapeutic intent, in particular for fitness, and physical rehabilitation. Aquatic therapy relies on the unique properties of water to enhance rehabilitation. These properties contribute to therapeutic effects, including the ability to use water for resistance in place of gravity or weights; hydrostatic pressure that supports and stabilizes, and that influences heart and lung function; buoyancy that permits floatation and reduces the effects of gravity; and turbulence and wave circulation that allow gentle manipulation and movement as well as challenge balance.
The purpose of aquatic therapy is to improve cardiovascular efficiency, increase strength and power, increase joint range of motion, assist in gait training and functional activities and ultimately reduce pain. Benefits of aquatic therapy for the client include the unloading of joints, promotion of ease of movement, development of muscle strength, balance and flexibility and of course, decreased pain.
An Added Benefit
It is awesome to see well-worn crutches, canes and wheelchairs sitting empty by the side of the pool while their users are walking in the water with perhaps only minimal support from a therapist or assistive device (wall, noodle etc…). The pool atmosphere is very normalizing. At the pool, it is easy for therapy & exercise to naturally evolve into a positive treatment process that ProActive Rehab values highly. The physical benefits of aquatic therapy are astounding; however, one of the best aspects of aquatic therapy are the psychosocial benefits. Aquatic therapy can reduce stress and anxiety, increase one’s ability to concentrate, enhance a feeling of well-being and confidence, and allow a person in pain to find their center of calm. The pool atmosphere often seems less clinical than a physiotherapy gym, and most people equate the swimming pool with fun!
When being treated by one of our physiotherapists at Proactive Rehab, you will have the opportunity to be referred into our Aquatic Therapy Program. This can be either a group-oriented or a one on one program that focuses on your physiotherapy driven rehabilitation goals and getting you back to Healthy Living proactively. You will have one on one time with the instructor as she is teaching you specific exercises that are complementary to your clinic based treatment. Our Aquatic Therapy group program runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-11am. Individual sessions are arranged separately.
For more information on our aquatic therapy program, please visit our website: