Aquatic Therapy Provides Ideal Environment for Pulmonary Edema Recovery
Flash pulmonary edema (or acute pulmonary edema) can sometimes be an extremely serious condition because of its rapid onset. One patient at Freeman Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Joplin, MO, Stephen Horne, was in the ICU and on a ventilator for almost two weeks after his episode. Three weeks after he was discharged, the physical therapists at Freeman were working to help him get back to his daily activities. Stephen also has some foot problems that limit what he is able to accomplish on land. By using aquatic therapy, they are able to focus on gait training and balance along with cardiovascular fitness.
The beauty of performing these exercises underwater is that Stephen is able to do to any exercises he would on land but without the stress on his body. Protocols that couldn’t be performed on land due to pain levels or inabilities are done in water with much greater ease. Some simple protocols that can be replicated in water include:
– Walking on an underwater treadmill
– High knees walking on underwater treadmill
– Knee flexion and extension
– Hip abduction and adduction
– Arm press using underwater dumbbells
Using advanced aquatic technology to perform these protocols is simple and easy to control. Using an underwater treadmill with remote control, speeds can be adjusted uniquely and quickly for each person and exercise. Additionally, with a fully moveable floor, the depth of the water can be immediately adjusted based on the amount of weight reduction needed or the protocol requirements.
The best part about a program like this is that when a patient’s therapy has finished, protocols can easily be adjusted to accommodate typical pools, so that a patient can continue their recovery and strengthening on their own. They can easily join a local YMCA, or local swimming pool. Or, if they happen to have a backyard pool at home, they can transfer similar protocols to continue their “treatment”.
Watch Stephen’s case history and a typical pool session:
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