Aquatic therapy - therapeutic exercise in water - provides a soothing, efficient method of exercise for achieving movement. The water, which is maintained at a temperature between 88 and 90 degrees in Gaylord's therapeutic pool, provides a cushioning effect that protects the body from any pounding, jarring movements. The ability to swim is not necessary to participate in aquatic therapy. A doctor's prescription is required for aquatic therapy.
Diagnoses treated include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post-Polio Syndrome
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Pulmonary Disease
- Guillain Barre
- Chronic Pain Syndrome
- Brain Injury
- Rheumatic Disorders
- Cardiac Disorders
- Developmental Disorders
- Knee and Hip Replacements
- Orthopedic Injuries
- Sports-related Injuries
The Healing Properties of Water
The physical properties of water diminish the effects of gravity, allowing for:
- Earlier movement of the limbs and functional mobility training
- Reduction of pain
- Muscle relaxation
- Improved flexibility
- Improved cardiovascular endurance
- Pressure relief and improved circulation
- Improved balance and coordination
- Increased strength
Immersed in chest-high water, people bear only 20 percent of their body weight on their legs. The remaining 80 percent is supported by the buoyant environment of the water. Warmer temperatures relax muscles, making for a better workout.
Exercise in the water also provides more of a workout than exercise on land. One hour of land aerobic exercise is equal to 30 minutes of water aerobic exercise.
Aquatic therapy offers people various levels of water exercise and adapted swimming, as recommended by their physicians. In Gaylord's program, each patient receives individualized therapy that may include:
- Strengthening and flexibility exercises
- Endurance training
- Gait training
- Modified swimming instruction
- Pain reduction
- Balance and coordination activities
About the Therapeutic Pool
Gaylord's 75-by-25 foot therapeutic pool on the hospital's Wallingford campus is specially designed for people with disabilities.
- A 2-foot wide ledge for easy wheelchair access
- Hydraulic lift
- Stairs with rails
- Bench in the water for those who need to sit while exercising
- Accessible locker rooms and showers
Aquacize is a community pool exercise program for people of all ages with disabilities and for older adults. Members may use the pool Monday-Saturday during posted hours at the Wallingford campus.
Aquatic therapy is available at Gaylord's Wallingford campus as well as at Gaylord Outpatient Center located in the Gaylord Wellness Center in North Haven.
Aquacize classes (available at the Wallingford campus only) and pool hours are available Monday-Saturday. Call the Pool Office for a current schedule: (203) 741-3440.