For patients who may have difficulty exercising on land, we offer aquatic therapy to help provide a more comfortable and therapeutic medium in which to gain strength and endurance. Many musculoskeletal and neurological conditions could benefit from aquatic therapy including: orthopedic disorders, post-surgical cases, sports rehab, arthritis, balance disorders, back pain, and chronic pain. Aquatic therapy differs from land therapy due to the many unique properties of water: buoyancy, viscosity, hydrostatic pressure, and temperature. These properties of water can help the patient in the following ways:
- Reduce weight-bearing stresses on joint and soft tissue structures.
- Improve joint range of motion.
- Increase muscle activity.
- Enhance neuromuscular control.
- Reduce edema.
- Decrease pain.
- Increase soft tissue perfusion and lymphatic drainage.
- Reduce blood flow and decrease inflammation and pain.
- Provide feedback for improving posture.
Aquatic therapy treatment sessions are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and specifically tailored to meet each patient's individualized needs. The aquatic treatment plan is coordinated with a land-based physical therapy plan and varies base on patient diagnosis. Once the patient's aquatic goals are achieved the program progresses to land-based focus as needed.
Linda Hiltz, PT, is the primary aquatic physical therapist and has earned an aquatic therapy and rehabilitation industry certification (ATRIC). Linda is assisted by physical therapist assistants April Miller and Brittany Dallas.