One of the specialized treatment environments we use at MINOR Improvements PT is our therapeutic pool. There are many advantages to Physical Therapy performed in warm water. The most obvious is the level of relaxation that can be achieved in heated water. This is, in part because of increased blood flow to the muscles which is also a way the body heals itself.
A Little Physics Lesson
In water, the effect of gravity is reduced significantly by Buoyancy. Buoyancy is the force that allows things to float. In waist deep water, buoyancy reduces weight bearing to 50%. In neck deep water it’s reduced to 10%. So, if you weigh 100 pounds out of water and stand neck-deep in a pool, the impact on your bones and joints is only 10 pounds! Imagine how helpful this can be if you have a broken bone. Most people have a weight bearing restriction after they break a bone. With buoyancy, it’s possible to resume standing, walking, and sometimes even running while the bone is still healing! (Of course we check with your doctor first to be sure!) This can be especially beneficial with stress fractures when regular weight bearing can increase the damage. Buoyancy also provides resistance as we pull air-filled objects down through the water. Seems easy until you try it!
Speaking of resistance, every movement we make in water is met by resistance. So, even without weights, the force of the water can promote strength. The larger the surface area and the faster the movement, the more resistance. So it becomes easy to vary resistance without switching equipment. The resistance also provides a lot of sensory information which contributes to balance and coordination.
Hydrostatic pressure. This is the amount of pressure you feel when you’re under water. It gets stronger as you go deeper. This pressure assists with therapy because it helps decrease swelling, improves circulation, supports our joints when we move and adds resistance to our breathing (makes it harder to fill our lungs) as it presses in on our ribs. This is very beneficial for improving respiratory function.
The Pool at MINOR Improvements PT
Our pool is 12’ x 26’ with non-slip tile and multiple depths to accommodate the different needs and heights of our patients. You get all sizes with birth to 21 years!
There are safety bars along one side and a built in jet bench on the other. The bench is great for stretching, exercise sitting balance, and walking for our little ones.
Our water is kept at a therapeutic 92° with the air at 88-90°.
We’re able to use less chlorine in our water thanks to an ozonator that kills bacteria before it enters our pool. This means less dry skin, faded bathing suits and bleachy smell.
We have a Badu Jet current generator. This powerful jet creates a current in the water that provides strong resistance to walking, running or swimming. It can present a significant challenge to the strongest athletes.
We have stairs with double railings and a hydraulic lift chair for those who may need extra help.
Our pool deck is non-slip and water flows right through, so no more puddles!
Parents who enjoy watching their child’s therapy sessions will be happy to know that we have an observation area of one-way glass so they can see what their child is doing, but they won’t have to wilt in the 90° air. Your child will be able to focus more on therapy, too!
Aquatic Physical TherapyFrom infants to young adults, there are many ways to specialize treatment for your child’s growing body. Our pool may be one of them. Whether your baby’s head tilts to one side, your child was born with a disability, your child has medical consequences related to obesity, or your young athlete was injured during last night’s practice, the pool may be the place to begin the healing. We also provide pool groups where same-aged children can exercise and socialize on a level playing field (a child who is unable to walk independently out of the water can often participate fully in the water). If your child has a recurring condition, you may choose to enroll in a pool group to monitor their condition and identify early symptoms of potential problems so that referral to their primary care physician can take place.