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Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy

Texas NeuroRehab Aquatic TherapyAquatic therapy is performed by a physical or occupational therapist and takes place in a pool or other aquatic environment.  Aquatic therapy is also known as water therapy, aquatic rehabilitation, aqua therapy, pool therapy, therapeutic aquatic exercise or hydrotherapy.

TNC offers aquatic therapy as part of our Inpatient Medical Rehab, Inpatient Post-Acute Brain Injury, and Outpatient Medical Rehab programs. Our indoor aquatic therapy pool is located in our Outpatient Medical building and is heated to 90-92 degrees year round.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Performing physical/occupational therapy in the water can be beneficial for a variety of individuals with neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disorders. Aquatic therapy differs from land therapy due to the specific properties of water. These unique properties decrease joint compression forces, may reduce inflammation and provide feedback for improving posture. The resistance of the water during therapy provides a safe environment for addressing balance, strength, and postural deficits. For those patients who may have difficulty exercising on land, aquatic therapy provides a comfortable and therapeutic medium in which to gain strength and endurance. 

Evaluation

On the first visit, the patient is evaluated and treatment goals and plan of care are established.  The therapist uses this information to set goals for continued treatment.  If pool therapy is indicated, the therapist will recommend follow up physical therapy sessions in the water. It is not necessary for patients to know how to swim before initiating an aquatic therapy program. A therapist directs each treatment session. Access to the pool may be by either stairs, chair lift or overhead lift depending on patient’s need.  Your subsequent visits will focus on treatment that is based on your diagnosis and individualized goals.

Common Goals of Aquatic Therapy

  • Assist with gait and locomotion
  • Build muscle strength and endurance
  • Enhance aerobic capacity
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Improve flexibility
  • Reduce stress/spasticity and promote relaxation

Therapeutic Interventions and Treatment

The aquatic treatment plan is coordinated with a land-based therapy plan and varies based on patient diagnosis. Once the patient’s aquatic goals are achieved the program progresses to land-based focus as needed.

Common Diagnoses Treated by Aquatic Therapy

  • Arthritis/Tendonitis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fibromyalgia/Chronic pain
  • General deconditioning
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Idiopathic joint pain
  • Limited lower extremity weight-bearing capacity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Postural Deficits
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sprains and strains
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Vestibular or Balance disorders

Please consider bringing:

  • Swimsuit (required)
  • Water shoes to protect their feet in the pool area

***For the outpatient patients that require assistance with dressing, showering or walking the hallway from the locker room to the pool, we ask that a caregiver be present during each treatment session.***

 

Reference:

https://www.hydroworx.com/research-education/additional-resources/aquatic-therapy-guide/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/rehabilitation/services/aquatic