Posted June 29, 2012
By Becky Lerner
Summer has officially taken over! With temperatures breaking 100, the thought of doing squats and lunges and planks and stretching just seems all-the-more intense… on land. So The Comprehensive Group took a few moments to talk with one of our very own PTAs currently getting certified in aquatic therapy to learn the benefits and ideas that leave all of us buoying.
“I’ve seen a lot of benefits with many different people—not just doing therapy, doing fitness as well. I grew up with a pool so I loved to do exercises in it,” says Mounts. “Many of my friends who have had injuries have gone into aquatic therapy and have healed much faster because of the buoyancy of the water.”
Working in the water (in a pool with a set temperature of 90 degrees) provides resistance for the patient in a low impact, soothing way; exercises can be gentle but still provide benefits.
An individual in water chest-deep feels the impact of only about 40% of one’s actual body weight which makes aquatic therapy ideal for orthopedic patients, seniors, those with proprioception or balance issues, and arthritis sufferers. But that lighter, more manageable feeling doesn’t mean that these exercises are going to be a breeze.
Goals for aquatic therapy are similar to most physical therapy: improving the active range of motion, decrease pain, increase mobility during exercise and during normal daily activities, decrease swelling, and improve quality of life.
Similar to most therapy forms, full body workouts—lengthening and strengthening muscles surrounding the ailing area—are absolutely necessary to reap lasting benefits; and this goes for aquatic therapy, too. According to Mounts, exercises and intensity vary depending on the patient and the goals, but core stability—strengthening the muscles in and around the trunk/torso area—is critical.
Aquatic therapy can benefit most, but is not ideal for those with communicable diseases, incontinence, or any open wounds.
If you’re interested in being “aquatically certified,” the National Aquatic Therapy Conference is coming to Chicago November 15-18, 2012.
Posted October 13, 2011
by Julie Bringas
I decided that I wanted to be a physical therapist when I was a junior in high school. “How,” you ask?
Well, I knew I was a “people-person” as so many of us are, and always felt drawn to the healthcare industry. I didn’t have the aspiration to go to school long enough to be a doctor and I was not interested in becoming a nurse. But as a Spanish assignment, I had to interview two professionals from different professions at my high school Career Fair. I found a physical therapist.
She was young and enthusiastic. And aside from my misconception that being a physical therapist meant giving massages, she enlightened me to the possibilities of physical therapy: the opportunities to work with everyone from
babies to seniors and the wide variety of work settings. I was immediately captured; it was perfect.
I became a physical therapist and worked with the senior population. It gave me great joy, not to just work with the patient, but to be involved with their families including spouses, children and grandchildren. I felt that I was able to inspire patients to do more than they thought they could, and there was nothing more gratifying to me than seeing a patient stroll out of the therapy department having entered unable to walk.
Now, 20 years since graduation, I am still proud of my profession and feel satisfied knowing that I have, and continue to, positively impact so many lives over the years. I hold a position that allows me to educate consumers and clients as to the benefits of physical therapy services and wellness programming. I work for a company that employs outstanding therapists who are extremely dedicated to their patients; and I personally feel like I have greater impact in promoting the profession at large. Certainly, I miss the hands-on contact with seniors on occasion. But when I go to our client sites, I always have a positive attitude and am excited to talk to the patients and get that face-to-face interaction that I so enjoyed.
During this PT Month, I reflect on the reasons I became a physical therapist, and ask you to do the same. I am thankful to work for a company that embraces its employees, providing exceptional opportunities for career growth and continuing education.