Aquatic therapy refers to water-based treatments or exercises of therapeutic intent, in particular for relaxation, fitness, and physical rehabilitation. Treatments and exercises are performed while floating, partially submerged, or fully submerged in water. Many aquatic therapy procedures require constant attendance by a trained therapist, and are performed in a specialized temperature-controlled pool. Rehabilitation commonly focuses on improving the physical function associated with illness, injury, or disability.
Aquatic therapy can support restoration of function for many areas of orthopedics, including sports medicine, work conditioning, joint arthroplasty, and back rehabilitation programs. Various properties of water contribute to therapeutic effects, including the ability to use water for resistance in place of gravity or weights; thermal stability that permits maintenance of near-constant temperature; hydrostatic pressure that supports and stabilizes, and that influences heart and lung function; buoyancy that permits floatation and reduces the effects of gravity.
Work Conditioning is an individualized and structured rehabilitation program organized to improve function, and quality of life with a goal of return to work. The program primarily consists of physical conditioning and injury prevention and wellness education designed to return the client to his/her previous employment It provides coordinated and outcomes-oriented services in an outpatient setting. Typically, the Work Conditioning client has received acute rehabilitation services and is expected to return to his/her previous employment, however, is unable to do so as a result of general deconditioning since the injury and his/her limited endurance or tolerance to work requirements. Once such a program is established the client is expected to become independent with safe performance of program activities. If clients are unable to return to their previous level of function, work conditioning and/or Functional Capacity evaluations can assist in determining an appropriate level of functional ability.
Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.
A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) evaluates an individual's capacity to perform work activities related to his or her participation in employment (Soer et al., 2008). The FCE process compares the individual's health status, and body functions and structures to the demands of the job and the work environment. In essence, an FCE's primary purpose is to evaluate a person's ability to participate in work, although other instrumental activities of daily living that support work performance may also be evaluated. Similar types of testing may also be called a functional capacity assessment (FCA), physical capacity assessment or evaluation (PCA or PCE), or work capacity assessment or evaluation (WCA or WCE). A well-designed FCE should consist of a battery of standardized assessments that offers results in performance-based measures and demonstrates predictive value about the individual's return to work (Kuijer et al., 2011; Soer, et al., 2008).
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