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i’move is beyond fortunate to have access to not one, but two pools! They are available in our Spring Lake and Grand Haven high school locations for our aquatic therapy program. For ten years, we’ve helped patients who struggle to move on their own build muscle without straining the joints involved. With pool-based intervention, you can dive into a new kind of recovery. Learn all about the benefits of our aquatic therapy program.
What makes pool-based intervention a great fit for many patients is that people can strengthen their muscles in the water in ways they cannot on land. To simplify a lot of physics, water is denser than air. This can offset gravity and make it easier for patients to move. In fact, just going waist-deep into the water can offset 40-50% of a patient’s body weight. This means that while a patient may not have the strength to do full weight bearing exercises such as lunges or squats on land, the water may offer just the right environment to be successful with these movements.
Treatment in the water naturally incorporates resistance training. When you kick, step, or move, your body is naturally doing more work to move in the water than it would otherwise. Aquatic therapy helps you build muscle while lowering the stress on your body. It’s the ideal situation for those recovering from surgery or struggling with other physical limitations to movement.
Your Aquatic Therapy Program
What does your aquatic therapy look like? The answer is going to depend on you, your situation, and your personal goals. The physical therapist’s goal for the majority of patients is to help the patient work toward performing the same motions on land that they practice in the water. That’s why a lot of the time, the exercises look like what you would see on land: such as lunges, walking laps, or similar movements.
But I Can’t Swim!
Here’s the fun thing about aquatic therapy: you don’t have to know how to swim. Keep in mind that most exercises mimic movements performed on land. For the majority of treatment, patients will have at least one foot touching the ground. In the very rare case of exercising in the deep end of the pool, all patients are given a buoyancy belt. Knowing how to swim is not a prerequisite to aquatic therapy. You can rest assured that you can safely train alongside a certified lifeguard/physical therapist. Both of our aquatic physical therapists have received lifeguard training.
If you are interested in trying out aquatic therapy, sign up for a personalized pain assessment. We’ll review your history and help put together the right treatment plan for you. You can also learn more about Dave and Bill, our two aquatic therapists. They can personally answer any questions you have regarding aquatic therapy.