Today’s blog is a continuation of last week’s submission written by Laura Markmann, PTA, ATRI and Licensed Black Belt Nia teacher. She has ran the Aquatic Therapy program at Rockwood South Hill since September 2011, two days a week under the supervision of a licensed PT.
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Aquatic Therapy (AT) consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. It is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions by using the physical properties of water to assist in healing and exercise performance. At Rockwood South Hill in Spokane, AT is an integrated and tailored exercise program that guides residents through a combined aquatic and land therapy program.
The AT program at Rockwood South Hill is indicative of the innovative and unique ways Infinity Rehab therapists treat patients at facilities across the country. Below is a case study highlighting the progress of single patient who participated in the AT program at Rockwood South Hill.
CASE STUDY: AC, 87-year-old male with generalized muscle weakness, abnormality of gait and late effects of CVA including left foot drop necessitating the wearing of an AFO with additional diagnoses of DM II, HOH, fused L4-L5, and hx of multiple falls. The resident participated in PT 3x/week, attending land therapy 1x/week and AT 2x/week. The focus of aquatic intervention: Improved ROM, and strength of bilateral hip abduction, external rotation, hip extension balance, flexibility, agility and mobility. Modalities used in the pool were ambulation with 5 lb ankle weights, utilization of ankle floats for resistance, and use of neck doodles for lumber spine water traction. Resident reported pain in the water as 2/10 while on land 4/10. Therapy results were increased hip strength per manual muscle test of left hip from a 3+/5 to a 4+/5 and reaching his functional maximum; using a custom articulating AFO allowing him to continue to go out within the community with friends and family; attending the hydro balance and tone classes 2x a week. To date he has had no further falls.
Since our program began in 2011 we have successfully graduated five residents with diagnoses ranging from CVA with left foot drop to chronic back pain, sciatica, lumbago ( low back pain), Osteoarthrosis-generalized multiple sites, chronic pain, degenerative joint disease, rotator cuff repair and lateral peripheral neuropathy. A current resident just began AT with bilateral AFO’s due to a crushing accident and is ambulating in the pool with a Bobath wrap on her bilateral lower extremities.

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