JOPLIN, MO-- Freeman's new Rehabilitation and Sport Center has a swimming pool. Not just any pool, it's designed to aid physical therapy. That starts with an adjustable floor.
Freeman Physical Therapist Michelle Fichtner said, "Whether they're in a wheelchair, have had joint replacement and can't go up and down a ladder and steps - it allows them to walk in the pool and not have to get in another way. And so we can wheel a wheelchair in there and lower the patient to whatever depth we want and then let them stand in the water or actually do exercises while they're sitting as well."
Physical therapy in the pool helps a wide variety of patients, from those with joint issues, senior citizens and even post operative care. Added Fichtner, "The properties of the water allows you to do different things. Number one you can decrease the weight bearing status on joints, whether it's a back injury or knee injury or hip. Depending on what depth you get them in, it takes a certain percentage weight off their joints."
And the pool is making an impact. When it opened a few weeks ago, operations were limited to a couple of days a week. Now therapists are looking for ways to squeeze in more patients, operating it every day of the week. To find out more, contact the center at 417-347-3737.