Waterproofing Methods Provide Safe Way to Begin Aquatic Therapy Earlier
Traditionally, many surgeons, physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers have hesitated to send patients into hydrotherapy environments immediately after surgery. Their concerns center around reservations that wounds may become infected or that the patient may not be ready for even non-weight-bearing protocols. However, postponing the opportunity for aquatic therapy has its disadvantages. It can decrease future range of motion, increase the chance that there will be scar tissue development and risk patients becoming frustrated with their therapy sessions.
Clinicians are finally agreeing that early hydrotherapy can be integral to getting patients back on their feet, and research is showing that it is safe and effective.
In this new info sheet about waterproofing methods and early post-operative aquatic therapy, you will learn the benefits of getting post-operative patients in the water sooner from research studies as well as clinicians who are using waterproofing techniques.
“We have found many forward-thinking clinicians who put patients and athletes into the water as early as 2-3 days post-op.”
– Randy Cohen, ATC, Assistant Director of Athletics at the University of Arizona
Randy Cohen’s, ATC, Assistant Director of Athletics and CATS medical service team member at the University of Arizona, is a proponent of early use of aquatic therapy. His strategy for post-op patients, both athletes and non-athletes, is to put them in a therapy pool as soon as possible. Patients who have received the benefit of early rehabilitation have consistently shown increased mobility, reduction in scar tissue development and maintenance of pre-surgery fitness levels.
A few benefits of early post-operative aquatic therapy include:
- Increases mobility of muscles and joints safely without forcing them to bear weight before they are physically able. This can reduce pain during and after rehabilitation.
- Positive outcomes early in the rehabilitative experience, encouraging patients to continue with their therapy.
- Reduces scar tissue around the joint or surgical sites, thanks to improved blood flow; thus, the joint is not hindered later due to a build-up of tissue.
- Allows an athlete or active patient to maintain cardiovascular fitness levels during the recovery process, leading to easier transitioning later.
To learn more about the advantages of early post-operative aquatic therapy, download our Waterproofing Info Sheet today>>