THE BENEFITS OF AQUATIC THERAPY:
- WEIGHT REDUCTION: In chest deep water, the patient’s weight is approx. 75% reduced. This reduction in weight produces less spinal and lower joint compression than the identical exercise performed on land. When the patientís weight is reduced, foot strike is gentle producing less shock into the spinal joint, allowing the patient to have increased activity without pain.
- BUOYANCY: Can provide either assistance or resistance to movement of the body in water. Buoyancy also produces; a decrease in splinting or guarding of antigravity muscles, an increase in freedom of movement, and a decrease in joint stress.
- HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE: Increases the pressure on the outside of an immersed body resulting in a reduction in edema in the lower extremities, an offset of blood pooling in the lower extremities, a desensitization effect, and a slowing of the heart rate during exercise in the water.
- WATER VISCOSITY: Provides three-dimensional resistance to both agonist and antagonist muscle groups. The resistance in a viscous environment is experienced throughout the entire length of the moving lever arm. This decreases the amount of torque experienced at the proximal joint. This is most important early on in rehabilitation, when the joints may be most vulnerable. The viscosity in the water also causes the body to perform in slow motion allowing the body sufficient time to react to movement.
- PROTECTION: Unstable patients that are a fall risk on land are not likely to be injured in the pool because any loss of balance would not result in impact with the ground.
Bad Ragaz Ring Method
The Bad Ragaz Ring Method is an active treatment of therapy in the form of resisted exercise based on physiological and hydrodynamic principles. The patient lies supine in the water and buoyancy aides are used at specific body landmarks. The buoyancy aides encourage relaxation and reduce energy expended by the patient because he/she does not need all of their strength to maintain their balance on the surface of the water.
WHAT TO BRING YOUR FIRST VISIT:
You can come fully dressed in your street clothes because we have separate men’s and women’s changing rooms, complete with towels, lockers and showers. There you will be able to change into your swim clothes.
Swimsuits are fine. But if you are feeling a little more modest, feel free to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Optional equipment: Water shoes, usually found at local stores for under $10, will help with traction inside the pool and protect the feet from the rough ground outside the pool.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The pool temperature is usually between 80 and 82 degrees. This temp will seem a little cold at first, but will become comfortable after a few minutes of walking. There are stairs with a double hand rail to make it easier to get in and out. The depth of the pool is 3-1/2 ft on each end and 4-1/2 ft in the middle so even non swimmers can feel comfortable walking. We want your therapy here to be enjoyable – but also challenging enough to show measurable progress with each week.
Pool therapy will involve one or more of the following: (as appropriate)
- Walking Forward, Backward and Sideways
- Resistive Arm and Leg Exercises
- Advanced Functional Exercises
- Sport Specific Movements
Indications for Aquatic Intervention
- In Coordination
- Gait Training
- Abnormal Tone
- Post-Op Conditions
- Poor Aerobic Fitness
- Poor Balance Reactions
- Limited Mobility
- Degenerative Diseases
- Neurological Conditions
- Limited Range of Motion
- Weight Bearing Restrictions
- Cardio/Respiratory Deconditioning
Contraindications for Aquatic Intervention
- Infectious Disease
- Open Wounds/Contagious Rash
- Allergies to Pool Chemicals
- Uncontrolled Blood Pressure/Heart Rate
- Active Lung Infection
- Urinary Infections
- COPD – Vital Capacity Less Than 1400 ml