Aquatic Therapy | Physical Therapy Services

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Aquatic therapy at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines

Aquatic  Physical Therapy at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

How does aquatic therapy work?

Aquatic therapy is performed in our SwimEx heated water therapy pool, aiming to rehabilitate patients after injury or those with chronic illness. It uses the resistance and heat of water instead of weights, taking excess pressure off joints for better outcomes while strengthening muscles, improving cardiovascular performance and balance.

Who would benefit from aquatic therapy?

Patients who have had difficulty with traditional physical therapies often show improvement with aquatic therapy. The therapy pool is specifically designed with an underwater treadmill, wave generation to provide resistance and video technology for visual feedback.

Aquatic therapy is ideal for individuals who may have the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Brain injury
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain or fibromyalgia
  • Joint replacement
  • Neck/back pain
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Pregnancy
  • Mastectomy

If you suffer from any of the following medical conditions, you may not benefit from pool therapy:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Non-healing ulcers

When an individual is recommended for pool therapy, a physical therapist will direct each treatment session. If a person does not know how to swim, he or she can still participate in aquatic therapy.

How long does pool therapy last?

Depending on a patient's needs, pool therapy treatments can range on average from two to four weeks. Furthermore, each aquatic therapy session can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Each treatment session is tailored to meet a patient's needs. Once an individual's aquatic therapy goals have been reached, his or her treatment may then focus on land-based physical therapy as needed.

Outcomes of Aquatic Therapy

Many aquatic therapy patients find that pool therapy is a safe way to regain balance, strength and their range of motion while managing pain. Other benefits a patient may experience from aquatic therapy include:

  • Improve Circulation
  • Decrease Edema
  • Improve Strength and Functional Movements
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Improve Balance and Coordination
  • Improve Muscle Tone
  • Improve Function

Aquatic Therapy at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Pool therapy offers patients who require physical therapy without the stress on joints the rehabilitation they deserve. Aquatic physical therapy is offered at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Physical Therapy at Trail Point in Ankeny. If you're interested in learning more about UnityPoint Health - Des Moines' pool therapy, contact us at (515) 289-9541.