The Power of Water to Heal

When I was run over, I fractured my hip, pelvis, spine, and had extensive crush and nerve injuries to my legs. I did aquatic therapy in a regular pool for three months prior to coming to PRO Club Physical Therapy. While it was helpful, I still needed a walker. A friend recommended the PRO Club so that I could benefit from the underwater treadmill. In the three months of physical therapy at PRO Club, I gained strength and confidence quickly. The various exercises that I did, both on the underwater treadmill and in the other pools, enabled me to move in ways that I couldn’t on land due to pain and flexibility limitations. I was able to be free from the walker and now walk normally (and even wear small heels).

I’m very grateful to my physical therapists both on land and in the water. Without those therapy sessions, I’m not sure that I’d be living a without a walker or cane. I’d recommend Aquatic Therapy to anyone who has issues with mobility, injuries, pain, or weakness. Karis adjusted my exercises as we went along and she, along with my land physical therapists, evaluated everything along the way to make sure I kept making as much progress as possible while keeping me out of as much pain as possible. ~ Lisa Feis, patient

Anyone who has been in a swimming pool can appreciate the feeling of being weightless. At the same time, as you move your arms and legs through the water, you’re aware of the gentle resistance it provides. This is why physical therapy in the pool (aka Aquatic Therapy) is so beneficial.

For starters, if you’re injured, being in the water is a great way to ease the load off your joints and still be functional. Furthermore, being in this buoyant environment makes movement easier and, typically, you feel less discomfort than on dry land.

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or working on sports-specific conditioning, our exclusive Hydroworx therapy pool incorporates a variable-speed underwater treadmill, under-water cameras, and variable jets to work upper and lower body muscle groups. The cameras enable you and your physical therapist to see you walk underwater, which is especially beneficial if you’re working on improving your walking mechanics. The water floor depth is adjustable, allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits of water resistance. No other therapy clinic in the Northwest offers this equipment.

In addition to the aquatic therapy pool, PRO Club also offers a shallow water and deep water pool. Changing the depth of the water allows us to change the amount of water resistance, creating a less or more challenging environment, according to what’s most beneficial for you. The best part about having different pool options is that you get a variety of exercises that keep you engaged and appropriately challenged so that you can work towards your goals, whether that’s to rehabilitate from an injury or enhance sports performance.

Conditions that may be treated by aquatic therapy

  • Arthritis
  • Balance/coordination difficulties
  • Inflammatory diseases (e.g. arthritis, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.)
  • Low back pain/stiffness
  • Motor vehicle accident (MVA)
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Post-surgery
  • Pregnancy

Watsu

On the more relaxed side of aquatic therapy is a technique called watsu, which is fondly referred to as “the water massage” by patients. This technique is intended for relaxation and to promote decreased muscle tension. The patient lies on their back, supported by buoyant objects at the ankles, low back, and neck as a PRO Club physical therapist also supports and gently moves their body through the water.

Ai Chi

Another water technique used by PRO Club Physical Theapy, which is similar to Tai Chi, is called Ai Chi. This technique has been shown to benefit balance and core stabilization, posture alignment, diaphragmatic breathing, muscle tone, and strengthening. Ai Chi includes 19 continuous, slow and broad movements, accomplished without force. The focus of Ai Chi is on breathing, upper body movements, trunk stability, lower body movements, balance, and coordinating total body movements. The base of support gradually narrows and the movements are combined with deep breathing at breath rate.

At PRO Club Physical Therapy, treatment plans begin with a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of each patient’s unique requirements. Contact us at 425-861-6277.

 

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