New aquatic-therapy offered by Oaklawn therapists

Emma Hurd, left, works in the pool at Coldwater’s Robert W. Browne Aquatic Center along with Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation physical therapist Jackie Hensell, as part of a new aquatic-therapy program for patients facing arthritis and joint issues. Oaklawn launched the program in early April. Hide caption A new aquatic-therapy program for patients facing arthritis and joint issue is being offered through Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation – Coldwater.

The program, launched in early April, is being conducted by staff from the medical center in conjunction with the Robert W. Browne Aquatic Center, said Tracy Winnie, an Oaklawn physical therapist who is the clinical manager of physical rehabilitation services.

Jackie Hensell, a physical therapist, and Brian Thomas, a physical therapist assistant, will work with patients who’ve been referred by their physicians and pre-evaluated by Hensell as to whether aquatic therapy would be beneficial, Winnie said.

The aquatic-therapy sessions are being held Tuesday and Friday afternoons at the Browne center’s warm-water pool at 250 Western Ave., and additional time slots may be added in the future, Winnie said.

Patients interested in information about aquatic therapy are encouraged to discuss it with their physicians and to contact Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation, which is based at the local Ascension Borgess and Oaklawn medical center in Suite B at 375 N. Willowbrook Road. The contact number is (517) 924-1620.

“Therapy in a warm-water environment can be especially good for patients with arthritis and joint problems,” Winnie said. “We’re very excited to be able to offer this program to better serve this region’s patients and physicians.”

Therapy sessions held in a 92- to 94-degree therapeutic pool provides mobility and functional benefits to patients dealing with post-surgical, orthopedic, a rheumatologist and neurological issues, including chronic pain, Winnie said.

“You don’t have to be a swimmer to participate in or benefit from water therapy,” Winnie said. “Patients can increase their flexibility, increase their range of motion and improve balance control because being in a pool reduces the effects of gravity. Warm water also helps to reduce swelling in the joints, relax the muscles and increase blood flow to injured areas.”

Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia often find aquatic therapy especially helpful, she added.

The medical center, jointly created by Ascension Borgess and Oaklawn, opened in early October 2018 as part of a new expansion of regional health services.

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