Weekly Rehab Minute: 'Pool Therapy – No Pressure Pain Relief'

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | by Erik Larson |


SPOONER, Wis. -- Do you or anyone you know suffer from either arthritis or bursitis?  Chances are many of my readers or someone you know has dealt with or currently is experiencing these very debilitating conditions.  Many people can be frustrated at the annoying pain and loss in quality of life caused by these conditions.  Most people think that nothing can be done, and that they simply “have to live with it”.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  

A recent research article published in the Journal of American Physical Therapy Association indicated; Patients who participated in a structured 12 week aquatic physical therapy program saw significant increases in physical function, strength, range of motion, and activity levels while experiencing less pain! Is there anyone out there to whom this does not sound inviting ? Let’s look at how and why this could happen.  

Aquatic therapy works on very simple yet sound principles.  Being in the pool allows people to work range of motion in the joint that would otherwise cause pain. The pool unloads painful and sore joints through natural buoyancy or floating effect felt in water. The hip and knee joints suffer a constant pounding, throughout the day. Give them a break!  Let them “take a load off” in the pool. The water itself acts as a natural form of resistance which permits patients suffering from joint ailments to strengthen while not increasing pain! Frequently, aquatic therapy will allow patients to delay or avoid invasive and costly surgical procedures.  

Bursitis and moderate to mild arthritis are some of my favorite types of cases to work with and see in clinic.  Why, you ask?  In most cases bothersome inflammatory conditions like arthritis and bursitis can be relieved very simply with a combination of light stretching/strengthening, ultrasound treatment, and aquatic therapy! Nothing is more rewarding than helping friends and community members realize that life can be less painful while restoring a smile and return to preferred activities. 

The earlier you seek treatment for these conditions the more quickly you can rehabilitate and resume your favorite activities. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy we can work together to put you back in the game of life. I would personally like to extend an offer to each one of my readers of a free assessment. Let’s work together, listen to your needs and assess your pesky painful hip and knees to see if aquatic therapy is for you! 


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