About Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapeutic exercise differs from land-based therapy through the principle of buoyancy. Buoyancy reduces gravitational forces and diminishes joint compression. It allows for greater comfort and ease of movement for patients with painful joints. The surrounding pressure of the water, also known as hydrostatic pressure, assists in reducing inflammation and provides sensory input for improved postural awareness.
Fairview Hospital Aquatic Therapy is performed in a heated pool for patient comfort. Our pool facilities also offer competition length pools, deep water availability and resistance walking areas. The resistance of the water during exercise provides a safe environment for addressing balance, strength and postural deficits.
The initial physical therapy evaluation takes place in the physical therapy gym where treatment goals and plan of care is initiated. Patients are required to bring a prescription for physical therapy services at the time of initial evaluation. Aquatic therapy treatment sessions are approximately 45 minutes long and specifically tailored to meet each patient's individual needs.
What You Will Need
It is not necessary for patients to know how to swim before initiating an aquatic therapy program. A lifeguard is always present and a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant directs each treatment session, often the therapist is in the pool with the patient. Patients can easily access the pool by stairs, zero access ramp or lift.
Contraindications to Aquatic Therapy
Although aquatic therapy is appropriate for many individuals, there are some conditions whereby water based therapy is contraindicated. Such diagnoses as incontinence, seizure disorders, open wounds or non-healing ulcers, chlorine allergy, extreme fear of water, and/or multiple sclerosis are populations that may be better served in a land-based therapy program.