Sidney Health Center Rehabilitation Services is excited to now offer aquatic therapy with the installation of a 15’ x 15’ Endless Pool. The pool was installed through a collaborative effort between Rehab Services and HealthWorks, where the pool is located.
Aquatic therapy is physical therapy that takes place in a pool under the guidance of a licensed Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist. This style of therapy is used to improve mobility, enhance circulation, reduce pain, increase balance and coordination, and improve tolerance to functional activities. People of all ages can enjoy water therapy benefits, including children and senior citizens. Water therapy proves to be very effective for several conditions, including:
- Musculoskeletal or neuromuscular impairments
- Sprains, strains, back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, or sports injuries
- Rheumatoid or degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis)
- Neurologic or general medical conditions
- Balance disorders
- Sensory issues
- Post-surgical rehabilitation (with healed incisions)
“The pool allows us to provide a new treatment option especially for those who struggle with mobility and pain issues,” stated Nicole Keysor, Rehab Services Director. “The warm water helps to relax and sooth aching joints and muscles. In addition, a patient’s buoyancy allows for a low impact workout and the water’s natural resistance is great for strengthening muscles.”
Patients who previously struggled with land-based therapy may be able to find better success with aquatic therapy. “From a patient’s standpoint, they are not necessarily able to see the progress that is being made with land-based therapy due to pain and balance issues,” continued Keysor. “Aquatic therapy allows the patient to feel support and stabilization giving confidence to increase their output which will in turn allows patients to show and see physical improvement.”
Patients that battle with mobility issues will still easily be able to access the new therapy service. An elevator located near the Emergency entrance takes patients down to the lower level with entry to HealthWorks and the pool room. Once in the room, there is a motorized chair lift that assists patients into the pool.
“Ease of access was very important when planning not only the location of the aquatic therapy room, but also entry into the pool,” stated Keysor. “Some patients who qualify for this therapy may find it difficult to enter the pool on their own. Having the motorized chair lift installed means that all patients, regardless of mobility, will be able to use the pool.”
The endless pool is also beneficial for workouts and athletic improvement. The pool has a Dual Propulsion System, allowing two people to swim against a current at one time. In addition, one side of the pool has an underwater treadmill creating a good resistance workout.
Currently, the pool is only available for aquatic therapy, but the goal is to be able to open the pool for public use through a HealthWorks membership. “As patients work through their therapy, we would like to be able to eventually transition them to a program they could do on their own and continue to use the pool with a HealthWorks membership,” commented Keysor.
While water therapy is great for people of all ages, not everyone will qualify to receive this treatment. A referral from a physician or advanced practice provider is required and though most insurances will cover aquatic therapy, patients will want to check with their insurance company to verify coverage. “We suggest scheduling an evaluation with Rehab Services and a therapist will assess the patient to see if they are a candidate for this type of therapy,” stated Keysor.
Funding for the $400,000 pool project was provided through designated funds from Sidney Health Center, grant funds from the Foundation for Community Care, and a healthy donation from the Good Cents Store.
To find out more about aquatic therapy, call Sidney Health Center Rehabilitation Services at 406.488.2166 or visit the website at sidneyhealth.org.