Aquatic Physical Therapy
Aquatic physical therapy combines specialized exercises and manual therapy techniques designed specifically for the pool. The buoyancy, support and accommodating resistance of water enhance the exercises and create a safe environment for progressive rehabilitation. The rehabilitative properties of water can also prompt muscle relaxation, facilitate stretches and reduce the sensation of pain.
Being able to swim is not a prerequisite. In fact, patients can fully participate in the program without even getting their hair wet.
Treatment sessions (conducted by physical therapist) are designed to improve circulation, strength and range of motion. Aquatic Therapy can also decrease tissue swelling, normalize muscle tone, protect the joints and reduce stress. Typical problems and conditions that can be treated effectively with aquatic physical therapy include: long standing or acute injures of the spine (neck and low back) and extremities (shoulders, hips, knees and ankles), chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders and conditions limiting the body’s ability to easily weight bear.
Just like muscles and joints, nerves require mobility. Nerves slide alongside muscles and fascia and can become restricted in response to an injury, infection or other trauma, such as prior surgery. Habitually poor postures can, over time, change mobility of the nervous system.
Developed in Australia and now practiced worldwide, neural tension techniques are now considered an important aspect of rehabilitation from injury. And many of the neural mobilizations can be taught as part of an ongoing home exercise program.
Neuropathies resulting from compression at the carpal or tarsal tunnels, thoracic outlet syndrome, sciatic symptoms, cervical nerve root compression and much more can benefit from these treatment techniques.
Manual therapy is a broad clinical approach using hands on techniques that are skilled, specific and effective. The techniques are used to reduce pain, restore joint mobility, decrease inflammation, and regain appropriate muscle length and timing to stabilize the injured joints (neuromuscular control). Joint and spinal mobilization and manipulation are aspects of manual therapy as are techniques such as integrative manual therapy, visceral mobilization, crainiosacral therapy, myofascial release and strain-counterstrain.
Research has demonstrated that the application of manual therapy can significantly reduce pain and restore function quicker than non-manual approaches (exercises alone). Greater Brunswick Physical Therapy has therapists that are specialized in multiple areas of manual therapy and almost every session will have an aspect of hands on care.
Exercise is the key to health and a central focus of physical therapy. Whether in need of a specific program to help you recover from injury or a generalized program to improve overall health, we will design a plan to meet your goals. You also will be provided instructions on performing your program in written or digital format (with video).
Patients who exercise regularly can also benefit from a review and modification of their program to optimize results. Many patients are unsure of the type, frequency and duration of exercise appropriate for their condition. Which exercise will be most effective and safe?
Our therapists have training in a variety of sports and rehabilitation exercise protocols including the latest in lumbar stabilization and core strengthening, joint range of motion and strength training. We also have practitioners that utilize Pilates, yoga and aquatic therapy.
Craniosacral techniques are subtle but effective in helping to restore normal mobility of the spinal cord which, in turn, reduces muscle spasm, decreases pain and facilitates the return of normal daily activities.
By using a combination of specific manual traction and gentle pressure, craniosacral therapy decreases neural compression. Releasing fascial restrictions in the tissues supporting the central nervous system enhances the flow of cerebral spinal fluid, which serves as the primary source of nourishment for the nervous system.
Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is produced in the brain and pumped down the spinal canal nourishing the tissues of the brain and the central nervous system.
Trauma, infection, or chronic tension can restrict this flow, frequently resulting in headaches, TMJ dysfunction, tension in the nervous system, and back pain. Often, cranial imbalances are a result of fascial restrictions. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports anatomical structures. Think of it as plastic wrap supporting muscle, ligaments, nerves, organs and our skeletal system.
Over the past 20 years more and more therapists are applying tape to complement their treatment. Athletes have had tape applied for decades, but it is also effective at reducing pain and swelling and restoring functional joint mobility. Jenny McConnell, one of the innovators of taping techniques describes that taping the joint and restoring motion is like “training wheels on a bike.” Taping provides stability and feedback to the body while you train until it can restore its normal neuromuscular control.
At Greater Brunswick Physical Therapy we have therapists that have been trained and certified in Kinesiotaping and therapists that have studied the McConnell method. Many patients are surprised by the significant improvements in their pain, range of motion and function through the use of taping techniques.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help a number of conditions, including
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary leaking (maybe only with laughing or coughing)
- Frequent Urination
- Pain over your cesarean scar
- Painful intercourse
- Fecal incontinence
- Low back or hip pain
Andrea Laskey, PT, DPT is our pelvic floor specialist and has a few words on what to expect from Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.
“The most important thing to know about my approach to Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation is that I will always honor my patients’ choices. My goal is for us to work together as a team in your rehabilitation. I believe on meeting you and your body where you are at. On your first visit we’ll discuss your urinary, bowel, surgical and pain history. Many treatment options become apparent solely through an external examination of your breathing patterns, rib cage mobility, and the strength and coordination of the core muscles involved in pelvic stability.
Based on past medical history, current symptoms and the initial evaluation findings there are some patients who can benefit from an external evaluation of the perineal area to determine the effectiveness of the pelvic floor musculature. This would be done only with your informed consent. Many patients may benefit from an internal examination. This is considered only after fully discussing the rationale and available treatment options based on your evaluation.
Pelvic floor treatment options can vary greatly from patient to patient. I use the information from your history and evaluation, along with orthopedic information to make a plan of care that we can discuss to help improve your symptoms. As the patient, you will always be the one to determine the extent of any evaluation or treatment option. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.”
More info coming soon!
More info coming soon!