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Are there risks to aquatic rehab after my surgery?

There are many benefits of aquatic rehab, but throughout the years, this question continues to arise. What about infections? Are there risks to entering the water after my surgery? Doctors recommend allowing the incision area to heal fully following surgery before submerging in a tub or pool, and this should be strictly enforced to avoid infections. However, with the proper dressing over a wound, the risk of infection dramatically decreases.

We opened the doors to Advanced Physical Therapy Aquatic Rehab over two years ago. Since then, our patients have not experienced infections from the water. Instead, they found they had less pain, increased strength, and range of motion. At Advanced Physical Therapy, we prep the skin around the incision and apply a dressing called Op-site before each aquatic therapy session. The covering provides a water-tight seal over the surface keeping the area dry, so the risk of infections considerably decreases. We also check the chemicals in the pool twice daily to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff.

Our attention to detail when applying the protective dressing and ensuring the chemicals in the pool are balanced means our patients can enter the pool as early as their 2nd visit to physical therapy following a total joint replacement, or a spinal surgery, and not worry about infections. Instead, the patient can focus on healing while utilizing the benefits of the water. The buoyancy of the water helps to off-load the joint and the patient can walk on our underwater treadmill with confidence, and with much less pain. The patient’s movement is more fluid in the water, and the warmth of the water is therapeutic. It helps those with back pain or pain elsewhere following a joint replacement. The water is also beneficial for those who have balance deficits as their confidence restored as the risk of falling is decreased in the water. A licensed physical therapist accompanies the patient in the water, guiding and instructing the patients through their treatment.

If you or someone you know is having a joint replacement, has low back pain, joint pain, arthritis, or Fibromyalgia or if you have questions if the pool is right for you, stop by the clinic for a tour or call us 866-412-5554.

Content provided by Jennifer Garcia, PTA