Aquatic Physical Therapy Aids Bariatric Patients

Aquatic Physical TherapyPeople who are overweight may suffer from joint and back pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other medical conditions. When these individuals are referred for physical therapy, the thought of physical exercise may seem daunting, painful or intimidating. Aquatic therapy in Good Shepherd’s warm water pool can be a helpful, less intimidating way to start.

Good Shepherd’s aquatic therapy program helps patients with many different medical diagnoses to exercise safely, because the water supports body weight and reduces pressure placed on joints. Patients enjoy performing standing exercises in a warm water environment that is challenging, yet non-stressful, and working alongside others with similar conditions.

Located in the Health & Technology Center in Allentown, Good Shepherd’s outpatient aquatic therapy program is staffed by experienced and compassionate therapists certified by the Aquatic Therapy Rehabilitation Institute. Staff members evaluate each patient and customize programs that are designed to achieve both rehabilitation and weight-loss goals.

Patients also receive education on safe pool exercises that may be performed independently after physical therapy is completed. In addition, we offer self-pay aquatic programs for individuals to continue their progress toward their overall fitness and weight-loss targets.

The pool at Good Shepherd’s Health & Technology Center in Allentown contains:

  • Underwater exercise equipment (i.e. treadmill, bike)
  • Parallel bars to aid in balance and support
  • Wide steps to make it easy for patients to transition in and out of the pool
  • A lift to help those who are unable to use the stairs is available for non-ambulatory patients under 500 pounds
  • Multiple depths to progress from more water support to less.

Who can schedule an aquatic physical therapy appointment at Good Shepherd?

If a patient has a medical condition, such as arthritis, painful joints or back pain, physical therapy is usually covered under most insurance plans. A prescription for aquatic or pool therapy indicating the patient’s medical diagnosis is required from the referring physician.

Who can attend the self-pay aquatic program at Good Shepherd?

Self-pay programs are appropriate for patients who have completed physical therapy but want to continue with exercises in the pool or for any patients with qualifying medical conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure and many others. Former patients may join our “water walking” program in which they utilize all the same equipment as in physical therapy; however, they perform their programs independently. Recreational therapists, also certified in aquatic programs, are available to offer suggestions for exercise progression and to supervise already established exercise routines.

Other self-pay aquatic programs also are available through Optimal Fitness at Good Shepherd. Consider the following:

  • Ai Chi
  • Aqua Yoga/Pilates
  • Arthritis Pool Program
  • AquaStretch
  • Learn to Swim
  • Learn to Exercise
  • Pediatric Pool Program

A dietary consultant also is available through our self-pay program to help bariatric patients meet their weight-loss goals (prescription required).

For more information about aquatic therapy and aquatic self-pay programs at Good Shepherd, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.

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