Innovative Physical Therapy: Aquatic Therapy

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Casey Madigan is a physical therapist at Active Physical Therapy in Marquette. One of the therapies he can utilize with his patients is Aquatic Therapy.

“It’s warm,” said Madigan. “We keep it at 94 degrees which is a good therapeutic temperature. Buoyancy, that buoyancy kind of helps reduce the effect of gravity on some of our patients and then also the hydro-static pressure of the water helps with anybody who may have edema or swelling and it can help manage that.”

Active Physical Therapy has been doing this since 2011. Madigan says they have between 5 to 10 patients in the pool every day.

“Anybody who has issues or struggles to stand on their feet,” said Madigan. “So it can be standing, stair navigation, post-operative patients who are struggling to put weight on their feet or they have a weight bearing precaution in which we need to get them into a gravity reduced environment. Arthritis is a very common patient population because that warmth helps kind of relieve soft tissues and then reducing some of that gravity kind of relax and improve the function of the joints.”

Madigan says that they do land-based exercises in the pool and overtime see how they do those same activities outside of the pool to see their improvement.

“If you feel like aquatic therapy is something of interest or you think you might get benefit from it, we would urge you to talk to your doctor about it,” said Madigan. “For the vast majority of patients, the pool is a very safe and effective option.”

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