Tyler Lowenstein Pool photo

PCMH’s physical therapist, Tyler Loewenstein, stands next to the pool access chair and ramp, which he says affords aqua therapy patients a safer way to enter the pool at the Louisiana YMCA. Courtesy photo

LOUISIANA – Pike County Memorial Hospital has expanded to offer aquatic physical therapy to its patients.

According to the hospital, this type of therapy safely accelerates rehabilitation with less pain for individuals with a myriad of ailments.

PCMH has teamed up with the Twin Pike Family YMCA in Louisiana to offer patients an alternative to the traditional land-based physical therapy in cases where the patient can benefit from some of the key variables of aquatic therapy can offer. These include pain relief, enhanced mobility, improved muscle strength and flexibility, reduced inflammation, and less stress on joints.

By taking advantage of the body’s buoyancy in water, according to the hospital, a pool will eliminate from 20 percent to 90 percent of an individual’s body weight. For example, in collarbone-deep water, a 200 pound subject will bear only 20 pounds of weight while in the aquatic therapy pool. This, in conjunction with therapeutic warm water, allows for substantially decreased joint compression and pain, the hospital noted.

As a result, early range-of-motion gains during rehab are immediately a reality.  Gait training in a low impact environment allows for earlier replication of proper ambulatory biomechanics, which was formally postponed until pain-free, land-based training was possible. Hydrostatic pressure promotes the healing and strengthening of injured tissue by reducing joint stiffness, decreasing swelling, and lowering blood pressure levels.  Cardiovascular stamina, muscle toning, and flexibility are augmented by the resistance that water provides.

“The YMCA pool has an accessible entry ramp which is safer for patients, and actually makes aquatic therapy available to more individuals, since some patients can’t handle steps into a pool early in their rehab,” said PCMH Physical Therapist Tyler Loewenstein.

“Aquatic therapy is often intertwined with more traditional therapy, and patients are encouraged to continue their aquatic regimen on their own once their formal rehab program has concluded. They can move better in the water. They can achieve more of their goals,” Loewenstein said. “Many people say they don’t realize how good the water feels until they come a couple of times.

“This will give us the ability to extend our services in the community to reach out to patients that may not have been able to tolerate the traditional land-based therapy,” said Loewenstein.

For additional program information, please call 573-751- 5531.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

Recommended for you