The aquatic therapy program is one of many orthopedic physical therapy programs offered through Parkview Therapy Services. Aquatic therapy may be a great solution for patients dealing with back, hip and knee pain as well as other orthopedic conditions. Available only at our clinic within the Lehman YMCA, where our partnership with the YMCA allows us access to pool facilities.
How does aquatic therapy work?
Aquatic therapy uses the buoyancy of water to allow patients to exercise and rehabilitate with less stress on injured joints and muscles. Some patients or conditions may not respond as well to land-based rehabilitation, where the stress of body weight on the injured joint or muscle may hinder recovery.
In our aquatic therapy pool inside the Lehman YMCA, you’ll exercise in warm, 86 degree water under the direction of one of our certified physical therapists.
Parkview Therapy Services offers direct access to orthopedic physical therapy - no referral necessary.
Call 260-266-4007 to get started today.
What are the main benefits of aquatic therapy?
With the buoyancy of water taking a significant amount of weight off of injured body parts, aquatic therapy allows patients to increase strength in an environment with reduced stress on joints compared to training on land.
Aquatic therapy also allows for an increased range of motion without painful or aggressive stretching.
Exercising in the water requires patients to stabilize their whole body, so aquatic therapy also improves balance, core stability and posture as patients use many different muscles to stay upright and balanced.
Patients also may see decreased overall pain due to the warmth of the water, desensitization of overactive nerves and muscles due to the water pressure, and decreased swelling in the limbs.
What patients or conditions are candidates for aquatic therapy?
- Patients who may be non-weightbearing or partial weightbearing on a limb
- Patients recovering from certain surgeries, traumas or fractures
- Patients who are unable to tolerate weightbearing due to severe arthritis in the knees, hips, ankles or the spine
- Patients with chronic pain conditions that find general exercise on land too painful, such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis
- Patients who have not had success with other treatment options including spinal surgeries, joint surgeries, medications, injections and traditional therapy
How long do aquatic therapy sessions last?
Typical sessions are 45 minutes. However, some sessions may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the patient’s need or response to the therapy.
Do you perform the same exercises in aquatic therapy as you do on land?
Patients may perform some exercises that are similar to those performed on land. However, when performed in the water, the exercises often have a different target or purpose. In the water, a simple movement often incorporates many other body parts and movement systems, while on land the same exercise would only target one area.
There are also exercises that can only be performed in the water, like suspended exercises, gravity eliminated exercises and partial weightbearing exercises. Unlike land, there are also many water exercises where the water can be either assistive in helping the patient complete the movement or resistive to increase the challenge.
What are some common exercises or movements performed in aquatic therapy?
- Multi-directional walking with a focus on balance and core stability
- Suspending bicycling or suspended leg movements using a noodle or flotation belt
- Arm and leg movements using specialized equipment like paddles, Hydro-Tones®, kickboards, gloves, noodles or weights to either provide assistance or resistance
- Balance activities, with patients standing with a narrowed base of support, like standing on one leg, and performing other body movements
- Functional movements and positions like squatting, lunges, step ups, reaching, pushing and pulling
- Use of the aquacycle, a bike that is fully immersed in the water
- Total body floatation, with or without manual assistance from the therapist