Increase Energy Levels With Aquatic Therapy
Summer time and warmer weather typically mean more outdoor activities. For older adults with mobility and balance issues, this can cause a great deal of difficulty. Outdoor gardening, walking, golfing and other activities are often more appealing as the weather warms up, however they require more strength and stability than we give credit.
One way to build muscle strength and improve overall balance and stability for older adults is with warm water therapy sessions on an underwater treadmill.
An example of this can be found in a recent case study from Summit Place Senior Campus in Eden Prairie, MN. At the time of this case study, an 85 year-old patient was suffering from general chronic pain and stiffness and was hoping to increase his energy levels and decrease pain.
His clinician would take him through regularly scheduled aquatic therapy sessions in their HydroWorx 2000 Series pool. The sessions would typically begin with a slow walk to get his arms and legs moving. Then the clinician would reduce the treadmill speed to perform some high knees and lateral stepping in each direction to continue warming up the body as well as balancing against the natural resistance from water.
Other exercises he would perform included:
- Straight leg kicks
- Walking sprints against the resistance jet
- Leg swings with the treadmill off
- Leg circles
- Various upper extremity range of motion exercises
- Single leg step-ups
- Lateral step-ups
Because of the intentional design of the therapy sessions, the patient was able to increase his overall strength in order to perform everyday functional movements such as walking upstairs, stepping into the tub and putting on clothes.
Not only did he experience less pain and notice a boost in his energy levels, he now feels more comfortable and safer while active due to extensive work in the pool.
Watch the full aquatic therapy session below: