Physical Therapist Amber Reed with patient Ray Jeffs.
Amber Reed, a certified aqua therapist and an employee of ProRehab has been holding aquatic therapy classes at the Emery County Aquatic Center 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday since January 2009.
Each patient spends 45 minutes to an hour in the water, doing exercises supervised by Reed. She is in the water working with each patient to make sure the patients are doing their exercises correctly. Reed demonstrates how she wants the patient to do the exercises and then observes and makes necessary exercise adjustments for the patient. As each patient progresses she shows them new and more difficult exercises to strengthen the muscles. Reed went to Salt Lake Community College for her degree, after graduation she went to Chicago for extra training in Aquatic Therapy. Physical Therapist Assistant is the title of her degree. Reed has been doing physical therapy for three years and aquatic therapy for almost a year. Reed is originally from Cleveland, Utah.
In response to the question, have you had much success with patients that come for aquatic therapy? She said, "We have had a great deal of success, especially with patients with back problems. Water provides natural resistance in exercising. The water is good for taking the load off the body and the patient can then exercise without the pain or compression. This way they can get the needed exercise with little or no pain." This is just another option for relieving back, neck, muscle and joint pain.
This therapy program goes on all year and is not just for senior citizens. Any person with severe joint or muscle discomfort is a candidate. Reed recently worked with two high school students with knee injuries or torn ligaments, who were helped by the aqua therapy. "We have had patients with knee injuries, neck pain, shoulder problems, arthritis, Parkinson and even some MS patients come for pool therapy," said Reed.
Lilly Harrington a patient said, "The therapy in the pool has helped to remove pains in my joints and makes me feel good. It has really helped me a lot."
Ray Jeffs, as he was treading water in the pool, said, "I hurt my back and hips trying to move a trailer loaded with furniture. I was in a lot of pain and could hardly move for weeks. The pool therapy has made the aches go away. When I finish with the workout in the pool my back and hips no longer bother me the rest of the day. The pains I have suffered with are slowly getting better."
Donna Downard, a patient said the pool therapy has really helped her with the pain in her back. She comes twice a week for therapy.
Usually the group in therapy sessions are all alone in the pool. However the pool is open to other swimmers while the therapy sessions are going on. Occasionally swimmers are doing laps on the other side of the pool, during the therapy sessions.
Scott Labrum the owner of Castle Dale ProRehab reported that they now provide aquatic therapy for people with joint, neck or back aches and pains. The pool therapy relieves swelling from injuries and stress on the joints. This is also a great way to exercise in the fall and winter when people are not outdoors much. Aquatic therapy is not the same as water aerobics.
Patients who want their insurance company to pay for this type of therapy will need to have seen a physician for a physical evaluation and have a doctors prescription. The patient is then given a screening by a physical therapist to determine which therapy would be best for the patient.
For more information about aquatic therapy call ProRehab Physical Therapy at 381-5100.