Aquatic Therapy at City Hospital
Aquatic therapy also called hydrotherapy, is used exclusively and/or in conjunction with traditional land physical therapy. It uses the physical properties of water to aid in patient healing and exercise performance. Depending on your diagnosis, different activities are done in the water to help relieve pain, strengthen muscles, restore flexibility, and improve general stamina. It can be used with a variety of different diagnoses such as:
- Post-surgical dysfunction
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson's disease
- Sensory disorders
- Joint replacements
- General weakness and deconditioning
Specific properties of water that aid in treatment are as follows:
- Buoyancy- While in water the body feels much lighter than on land, not unlike walking on the moon. If a patient weighs 200#, they would only actually weigh 100# in waist high water, helping to decrease compression through the joints and spine and allowing for a more comfortable environment to exercise in. This gives the patient the much needed support to be able to perform functional tasks that cannot be performed on land. Person's who are obese or those who suffer with arthritis or osteoporosis can benefit the most from this.
- Resistance-The resistance of the water is much larger that that of air. This will aid in strengthening of many muscles with simple movements.
- Hydrostaic pressure- This is the pressure that water exerts on you. When patients are submerged, the blood will be given help; circulation will improve to move fluid. This can reduce swelling in lower extremities and relieve joint stress that some patients suffer from.
- Temperature- Aquatic therapy is done in temperatures between 90 and 94 degrees. The higher temperatures help to relieve muscles and aching joints. Patients that suffer from back pain and muscles spasms can benefit the most from the heat of the water.
The pool at WVUH-East City Hospital Rehabilitation holds 9,840 gallons and is approximately 18 feet by 20 feet. It has depths of three, four, and five feet. These different depths aid in the performance of different activities and exercises dependent on patient diagnosis. Other 'tools' such as paddles, ankle weights, noodles, paddle boards, and foam dumbbells are used for aquatic exercises. Jacuzzi style jets and bench are used with certain patients as a relaxation tool as well. A lift is available to enter and exit the pool for those who are unable to use stairs. Our program is supervised by a licensed therapist 100% of the time to ensure the best care is provided to you or your loved one.