Aquatic Therapy for the Musculoskeletal & Neuro Client
As many area residents know, Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital has an extensive and innovative rehabilitation services department. One of the unique services they offer is aquatic therapy. Now, the rehab team at MOLVH is helping to spread the word about the benefits of aquatic therapy to other rehab professionals by hosting a professional conference September 17 and 18. The event will take place at the Stanley-Boyd Pool (SBCP) and Fitness Center.
MOLVH’s director of rehabilitation services, Steve Seiberling, DPT, helped organize the conference. He said, “We expect more than 20 professionals to join us for this conference. They’re coming from all over, including Door County, Menominee, Oconomowoc, Appleton and the Chippewa Valley. It is an exciting venture between our facility and the SBCP. My hopes are that this is successful enough that we could look to offer aquatic courses in this area every 2-3 years, taking advantage of the amazing facilities at the SBCP.
“MOLVH initiated our aquatic therapy program in 2008, and we’re happy to share what we’ve learned with other professionals. Water can be incredibly helpful and therapeutic for rehab patients,” he said.
What makes water such a great therapeutic tool? Steve says there are several factors, including:
Water's buoyancy counteracts the effects of gravity. Water can help reduce the impact of gravity to allow people to do more in the water than they might be able to do on land. Doing therapy movements in water can aid the development of improved balance and strength.
Water is a cushion for the body’s weight-bearing joints, which reduces stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments. That means aquatic therapy sessions are low impact and can greatly reduce the injury and strain common to most land-based exercises.
Water provides resistance which is proportional to the effort exerted against it. This gentle friction allows strengthening and conditioning of an injury, while at the same time reducing the risk of further injury due to loss of balance.
Water helps the heart work more efficiently. The hydrostatic pressure of water pushes equally on all body surfaces, which helps regulate circulation controlling swelling after surgery/exercise.
The guest speaker is for the conference is Andrea Salzman, MS, PT, the founder and owner of Aquatic Resources Network, the largest multidisciplinary clearinghouse of information on aquatic therapy. She is an experienced therapist who has been the editor of the Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy.