Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy is proud to add aquatic therapy to our list of services available to our clients. We have contracted with Santa Clarita Athletic Club Inc. in Newhall to use their heated indoor pool and facilities. Although designed to teach kids how to swim, the pool is also ideally suited for therapeutic purposes - the temperature is kept between 90 and 92 degrees at all times, the size of the pool is 24 ft by 37 ft and gradually slopes from 3 to 5 ft in depth. Santa Clarita Athletic Club Inc. offers 5 handicapped accessible showers, handicapped parking and a large viewing area. It is located at 24640 Wiley Canyon Road, Newhall, CA 91321. The entrance for the pool is on Calgrove.
Currently, Kinetix provides Aquatic Therapy on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30 am till 12 noon. Sessions last from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the patient's condition and capabilities and are completely supervised and directed by a Physical Therapist. It is not necessary that a patient know how to swim in order to take advantage of the benefits of aquatic therapy. However, all patients must first be evaluated in the clinic by a Physical Therapist. Most health insurance policies and Workers Compensation cover aquatic therapy as long as the patient has obtained a prescription for physical therapy from their doctor.
What are the benefits of aquatic therapy? For many patients, a heated pool is the most ideal environment to begin rehabilitation. The properties of water can be used to improve balance, range of motion, strength and cardiovascular endurance. The warmth of the water and decreased weight bearing due to buoyancy also help reduce pain.
The buoyancy property of water is especially useful when recovering from surgery or a fracture to safely progress the weight bearing capacity of a body part. For example, when someone is standing immersed to the neck, their legs are supporting only 10% - 20% of their body weight; immersion to the chest, 30% of their weight and when immersed to the lower abdomen, the water reduces 50% of one's weight. By using floatation belts in deeper water the compressive force of gravity can be eliminated completely. In fact, with a floatation belt placed around the waist, a mild traction effect is created in the lumbar spine. It's no wonder why many low back pain patients are reluctant to get out of the pool once they experience this anti-gravity relief of pain.
The water environment is also useful for muscle strengthening. Resistance already exists in water in the form of viscosity and surface tension. You can easily vary the resistance by changing the speed of movement of a body part in the water or by using various devices like webbed gloves, paddles, or Styrofoam dumbbells. Exercises like walking, jogging and cycling can be reproduced in the pool with less stress on the joints.
Your doctor and therapist can help you decide if aquatic therapy is right for you. Once you begin pool therapy, your therapist will gradually progress your exercise program. The goal is to eventually transition to a land based treatment program or to complement an already established rehabilitation program in the clinic. In either case, we will be happy to discuss your individual goals and work with your doctor to achieve an optimal recovery from your injury or condition.