Water has been – and remains – one of the best environments to achieve full function regardless of the injury. Water improves motion and flexibility and has a relaxation effect on the body which decreases pain and muscle tension. The natural buoyancy reduces compressive forces and impact on the joints, hence making exercises much easier to perform than on land.
What to Expect
When walking into the HydroWorx pool at Active Physical Therapy, you are treated to smells of not the expected chlorine, but to bromine, a chemical not as harsh to the skin or the nose as chlorine. Depending on patient needs, the water is kept at a temperature between 82 and 96 degrees for therapeutic purposes.
A physical therapist or physical therapy assistant will take you through a series of personalized exercises designed to help meet your goal for rehab of your injury. You will work one-on-one with your therapist for 45 minutes to an hour and all therapy is tailored to your abilities and geared to help you gain mobility, strength, balance, and feel more confident doing your day-to-day activities. Whether you’ve had a recent surgery such as a total knee or hip replacement, a ligament or tendon repair, spinal surgery, or have generalized weakness, pain, or difficulty with your work activities, aqua therapy can be excellent option to address your specific condition in a non-impact environment.
How it Works
The water provides buoyancy which reduces stresses on your joints, yet the viscous fluid properties of water can be used as resistance to improve strength and speed, the constant motion of the water helps with balance, core strength and proprioception, and the hydrostatic pressure can reduce swelling and joint pain. Water based programs are great for “active recovery” for endurance athletes who need to reduce stress due to an injury but don’t want to lose their cardiovascular fitness. With the use of our underwater treadmill we can improve your running or walking gait using non-impact means to address muscle imbalances in gait that usually show up in gravity environments, by retraining them in a supported environment.
The use of equipment such as paddles, noodles, buoyancy vests, kick boards, fins and other pieces of equipment that offer support or resistance depending on your needs. When you are ready, your therapist will transition you seamlessly to land based exercises to further reach your therapy goals.
Best of all, you don’t need to know how to swim to use the pool. All the exercises can be done without submersion, so if you have a fear of water, this can be addressed during sessions and a gradual approach can be taken.
Want to learn more about the aqua therapy program at Active PT? Stop in our Fair Avenue clinic or call 906-226-0574.