This story originally appeared in Milford Live.
by Terry Rogers
This month, Aquacare Physical Therapy will celebrate its first anniversary in the Milford Wellness Village. The company partners with the Milford Boys and Girls Club to use their pool for therapy and is the only physical therapy organization in Milford to have a full pool available for those with medical/rehabilitation issues.
“Many physical therapy locations have a small whirlpool where they can perform some aquatherapy functions,” Cara Konlian, MSPT and CEO, said. “The pool at the Boys and Girls Club offers a wheelchair ramp and a walk-down area without steps. We also offer a gym that is designed not only for people with medical issues but for those seeking wellness as well. There was a huge following of people who used the gym when it was operated by the hospital and we want to get the word out to them that it is still available with updated equipment and services It is rare for a physical therapy practice to have an attached modernized gym that allows both pre- and post-rehab physical therapy as well as medically based wellness gym for those with pre-existing or medical conditions.”
Amanda Pender, Clinical Director, explained that there are several things that set Aquacare Physical Therapy apart from other clinics. Patients are usually seen one-on-one for one hour and the organization offers many specialty services.
“We are one of the few physical therapy practices that offers pelvic floor therapy for conditions such as urinary/fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, organ prolapse and constipation,” Pender said. “We also specialize in the treatment of pregnancy and post-partum problems.” In addition to these services, Aquacare Physical Therapy offers balance, vestibular and concussion therapy along with hand therapy, temporal mandibular therapy and LSVT specialized therapy for stroke and Parkinson’s Disease clients.
Konlian explained that they also offer McKenzie spinal therapy, a very unique and effective method for treating back pain and especially for those who have back pain that extends into the extremities.
“Aquatic therapy offers 90 percent reduction in body weight once someone is submersed from the chest down,” Konlian said. “We understand that many people are still fearful of going to therapy due to the virus, but aquatic therapy provides an anti-viral method for therapy. Because we work one-on-one, there is no interaction with anyone but the therapist. Pools are treated with chemicals that kill the virus making it a much safer alternative to other types of therapy.”
Because the water provides buoyancy, it is very beneficial to those who are in severe pain, Pender stated. This type of therapy is also helpful for those who are weak because the water provides resistance. It is commonly used for those who need gait training or assistance learning how to walk.
“It can also be beneficial for those who have swelling,” Konlian said. “The hydrostatic pressure can help if someone has a lot of swelling in their extremities because water can help control that. For people with arthritis, it can be difficult to exercise on land due to the pain. It is also beneficial to those who suffer from cardiovascular disease as water promotes venous return so there is less strain n the heart.”
Pender also stated that the gym, which is available to the general public as well as clients of Aquacare Physical Therapy, is very small and family-like.
Our therapists are always available to our wellness/gym clients, offering suggestions and changes to their programs,” Pender said. “If we see someone who is doing an exercise incorrectly, we stop and help them, so they don’t hurt themselves. We also find that older people feel uncomfortable in a big gym and because ours is smaller and medical based, they are more at ease.”
A basic membership provides a free 30-minute consultation and a plan to work toward fitness goals. A physical therapist will develop an exercise program for those who need the post-rehab membership where the client meets for three one-on-one 30-minute sessions with a therapist each month. Konlian explained that this is a great program for those who are finished with physical therapy but still want to continue an exercise program under supervision. The gym also offers certified personal training.
To celebrate the first anniversary, Aquacare Physical Therapy will hold a grand opening on April 28 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM with a ribbon cutting at 3:30 PM. Refreshments and drinks will be provided along with tours of the facility. Masks and social distancing will be required.