Aquatic Therapy at In Motion O.C.
*This information about aquatic therapy was reviewed by Dr. Natalie Thomas, PT, DPT.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or have a condition that prevents you from participating in regular exercise, you may be worried about your activity levels.
Exercise shouldn’t feel like an impossible mountain to climb, nor should you feel limited during your recovery or treatment.
Aquatic therapy is an extremely effective method of staying active while healing. Learn more about the benefits of aquatic therapy and how In Motion O.C. can help you get started.
What Is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is an exercise program that is conducted in the water for:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Relaxation; and
- Therapeutic benefit
Aquatic therapy aims to bring relief to patients suffering from musculoskeletal or neuromuscular disorders or injury.
Using the physical properties of the water, aquatic therapy can assist in patient healing, comfort, recovery, and physical performance.
How Does Aquatic Therapy Work?
The beauty of aquatic therapy is that it is appropriate for a multitude of conditions along any phase of the rehabilitation process.
A Doctor of Physical Therapy will enter the pool with you and will walk you through a program tailored to your goals. In the water, you will be able to see how much more your body can do, moving in different directions and with greater ease than you ever thought possible.
What Aquatic Therapy Exercises Can You Expect?
Aquatic therapy sessions are usually broken up into the following parts:
- Warm-up: You may begin with light exercises with low resistance, including stretches, walking, or jogging
- Strength training: You may participate in cardiovascular and plyometric activities.
- Core training: Strengthening your core is essential to total-body health. Some core exercises may include squats, shoulder presses, arm and leg swings, and more.
- Cooldown: Before exiting the pool, your therapist may have you perform some gentle stretches to bring your heart rate down and prevent lactic acid buildup.
What Type of Equipment Is Used for Pool Therapy?
Every program is uniquely designed to benefit the specific needs of each patient. Some of the equipment that may be used in your aquatic therapy program may include:
- Underwater treadmills
- Stationary bicycles
- Short-tipped fins and flippers
- Floatation rings or belts
- Ankle weights
- Resistance paddles and handbells
- Resistance tubing or bands
- Weight-adjustable barbells
- And more
What the Aquatic Therapy at In Motion O.C. Offers
An indoor pool
Heated to 92 degrees
A program serviced by Doctors of Physical Therapy
Convenient hours and complimentary parking
Most insurances accepted (including, but not limited to Medicare, worker’s comp, auto and,most PPO insurance)
9 Ways You Can Benefit from Aquatic Physical Therapy
Aquatic therapy, also referred to as pool therapy, is an exercise program that takes place in a warm pool and can be highly beneficial as a form of therapy for a variety of medical conditions.
Using the physical properties of the water, aquatic therapy can assist patients in healing and promote gentle and effective exercise while reducing pressure on the joints, improving strength and balance, and reducing inflammation.
The warm pool at In Motion O.C. provides a safe environment for our patients who are unable to exercise on land. Here’s how pool therapy can help you.
#1: Decreases Blood Pressure
The water is heated to 92°F, which allows for widening of blood vessels decreasing any resistance to allow for lower blood pressure.
#2: Decreases Joint Stress
The water creates an environment that allows you to unload up to 90% of your body weight so that you can move freely and work at a higher level than you could on land.
Additionally, because of the temperature of the water, you will have decreased joint stiffness allowing you to move more freely and pain-free.
#3: Decreases Swelling and Edema
The pressure from the water on the body acts to “pump” the swelling up and out of the leg to be reabsorbed by the system.
Additionally, because the water creates an environment that allows you to move more than you could on land, you are eliciting a “muscle pump” action to further help redirect the fluid away from the site of the swelling.
#4: Builds Strength
The resistance from the water allows you to improve your strength without the fear of falling. You can adjust your resistance by altering the speed at which you move your body in the water to make it easier or harder based on your individualized needs.
#5: Improves Aerobic Capacity
Your aerobic capacity is a measure of how efficiently your heart and lungs can transport Oxygen-rich blood to your working muscle. This increase in oxygen will allow your heart, lungs, and muscles to perform more efficiently.
#6: Improves Balance
The water stimulates improved body awareness, stability, and balance.
Your body is getting constant feedback due to having water all around you increasing your awareness of where you are in space. Additionally, your body is supported by the water which can allow you to have increased time to react and limit any fear of falling or injury.
#7: Decreases Pain
The warmth of the water allows for muscle relaxation by decreasing muscle spasms and increasing flexibility. The sensation of being completely surrounded by water also acts as a compression providing a sense of improved stability and comfort.
#8: Improves Range of Motion
Due to the buoyancy of the water in the pool, you can move through greater ranges of motion without pain. Buoyancy has the opposite effects of gravity so it will act as an assist as you move your extremities. The temperature of the water also helps to relax muscles which can help increase overall flexibility.
#9: Improves Confidence and Morale
The pool allows for a perfect environment to socialize with other patients as you perform your exercises. An additional bonus is that it also provides a safe and comfortable way to complete exercises you may not have ever thought possible on land. Enjoy your individualized program with support from our staff and the other patients. It really is fun!
Is Aquatic Therapy for Everyone?
Aquatic therapy is not for everyone. Your physical therapist will determine if aquatic therapy is beneficial to you after conducting a full medical history and assessment.
Aquatic therapy is not for patients with:
- Open wounds
- High fever
- Seizure disorders
- COPD or similar issues
- Hepatitis A
- High-risk pregnancy
- Chlorine or bromine allergies
- And more
Frequently Asked Questions About Aquatic Therapy
Is The Pool Indoor Or Outdoor?
The pool is indoor and warm.
What Is The Temperature Of The Pool?
Between 90-92 degrees.
When Do You See Patients For Aquatic Therapy?
On M,W,F and between 9am-2pm.
Where Do I Do My First Visit, Initial Evaluation, And Future Progress Reports?
The first visit initial evaluation, as well as future progress report visits, are done at our Irvine facility at 17332 Von Karman Ave, Suite #120.
Will My Hair Get Wet?
Most people do not get their hair wet as the majority of exercises are done in standing or walking positions. If we feel there are exercises that you will benefit from but will get your hair wet, we will discuss these with you ahead of time.
Do I Need To Know How To Swim To Receive Aquatic Physical Therapy?
No. Most of the exercises are done standing and walking in chest to waist height water. Fear is normal on the first visit so make sure to let your therapist know during your evaluation so they can best accommodate you and help ease your concerns.
How Long Am I In The Pool For?
Most sessions are approximately one hour long.
Do I Need To Have a Bathing Suit?
Not necessarily. If you are more comfortable in a shirt and shorts then that would be acceptable. However, a standard bathing suit allows you greater motion and comfort and allows the therapist better feedback and the ability to provide a more specific “hands-on” level of care.
We recommend patients arrive at the pool in their bathing suit, cover-up, and towel. It is also beneficial to wear swim shoes but it is not required.
Do You Bill My Insurance?
Yes, our office will bill your health insurance as a courtesy. However, the charges incurred are ultimately the responsibility of the patient.
Will My Insurance Cover Aquatic Physical Therapy?
Usually, yes. We will contact your insurance company to determine coverage for aquatic physical therapy. Verification of benefits is not a guarantee of payment. Detailed benefits information is only available to subscribers who should contact their insurance company should questions arise. We will notify you of coverage basics before your first appointment.
What If I Have An HMO?
Your doctor needs to request authorization from your health plan or IPA (Monarch). Our name must be included for the authorization to cover our facility. You are requesting therapy from an out-of-network provider.
The process may take up to two weeks depending upon your insurance or the IPA. Our office will contact you via phone, email, or mail once we have received your authorization.
Getting Started With Aquatic Therapy at In Motion O.C.
Aquatic therapy is currently offered at our Irvine, CA, location only. All aquatic therapy sessions are conducted in our state-of-the-art facility and by a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy, feel free to give us a call.