CALUMET — Aspirus Outpatient Therapies now provides Aquatic Therapy as one of many treatment options available to patients.
Aspirus is partnering with the AmericInn in Calumet to provide aquatic therapy for patients who may not tolerate land-based therapy, or need support of the water’s buoyancy to move effectively. Aquatic therapy is ideal for people who are experiencing pain or weakness due to an injury or disability.
The natural buoyancy of the water takes the pressure off of joints, allowing for free range of motion. The water is like a hug for aching joints and offers instant comfort and pain relief.
“Moving in the water is going to increase your strength,” explained Lydia Lytle, Aspirus Physical Therapist. “It’s also going to decrease the impact on your joints, but let’s say someone doesn’t have the coordination to move? The muscles are fine but they might be moving in a staggered pattern that they would be moving in. So we can re-teach that in the water and the increased resistance gives them a little bit more input into their joints. This is called ‘Proprioception’ and this is so that they can move a little bit more smoothly or freely within in the water.”
This kind of therapy can help a wide variety of conditions such as neurological disorders, spine pain, musculoskeletal pain, postoperative rehabilitation, pediatric disabilities, pressure ulcers, and more. Not only does it help with injuries but is a great way to strengthen the body. It can even help with other things such as balance.
“Balance issues are a big one,” said Blake Dupuis, Michigan Tech student assistant. “People who cannot balance as well on land have an easier time working on their balance in the pool. This can assist any sort of orthopedic issue whether it is with athletes who have knee injuries or hip injuries. This can help to rehabilitate that in the pool better.”
Key features of the AmericInn setting include: an 88 degree saltwater pool to facilitate increased buoyancy and skin health, a small-step entry with rails, a pool-side seated lift to assist patients who are non-ambulatory, and fully equipped accessible shower facilities.
“Well we have a salt water pool which I believe fully believe helps with healing,” said Dianne St. Amour, General Manager of AmericInn in Calumet. “We have seen it over and over again when people come in with wheel chairs. When by the time they leave their therapy session they are walking out the front door. So to be able to help provide that service to our community is a huge benefit for all of us.”
These different features allow comfort for all who undergo therapy through this program and help them recover and rehabilitate their bodies.
Whether a patient is an active water enthusiast or has not stepped foot in a pool for over 40 years, the aquatic setting can offer barrier-free movement to promote independence in body function and mobility.