Online Education

Below is a current listing of our online educational opportunities available in the APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Education Center

To Pool or Not to Pool

What if your pool patient came into the clinic with a bandage on his elbow reporting he fell yesterday? Would you cover the wound and let him in the pool or see him on land instead? What if the woman you evaluated has a history of seizures and incontinence? Would you select aquatic therapy for her treatment plan?

Decisions, decision, decisions. Every day you make decisions about your patients including whether or not to select aquatic physical therapy as their treatment intervention The benefits and risks of aquatic physical therapy for every individual patient must be considered when making these decisions. This presentation will give you information to help make this clinical judgement. Various potential precautions or contraindications will be discussed along with ways to mitigate the risk of immersion with each precaution. The group will discuss various case scenarios and talk though the decision making process of whether or no you choose to pool or not to pool.


Using Aquatic Interventions for Functional Improvements in the Older Adult Client

All too often aquatic therapy and exercise has been relegated to a secondary role when considering functional training for a wide spectrum of older adults. Due in part, to the fact the there is a paucity of literature addressing this topic as well as the mere fact that humans live on land, water therapies have been considered to have limited benefit in addressing either maintenance of or improvement of functional skills. This webinar will define specific, simple functional activities that are within the repertoire of the modern-day older adult. Using objective measures to quantify improvement, this webinar will demonstrate progressions for each skill set. Lastly, there will be a discussion of current literature addressing the use of aquatic interventions to upgrade land function.

Management of Acute and Chronic Edema and Lymphadema in an Aquatic Environment

This course describes the application of aquatic therapy as a tool in managing acute and chronic sources of edema – mechanical/ acute orthopedic, venous insufficiency, congestive heart failure, and lymphedema. By applying the principles of the physiologic impact of submersion and use of hydrostatic pressure to each unique pathology, the participant can critically apply these concepts to common conditions seen as primary or co-morbidity conditions in the clinic. Additionally, the course describes in more depth the role that aquatic therapy can play in managing lymphedema by stimulating the lymphatic system and using manual lymph drainage strategies in the water. While this is not a comprehensive lymphedema management course, there is a brief review of lymphatic flow and therapeutic activities that may be both beneficial and appropriate for maintenance strategies.

Aquatic Techniques for Lower Extremities

In this session the presenter will review the benefits of aquatic therapeutic interventions in the treatment of lower extremity impairments. Aquatic balance, strengthening and plyometric interventions are provided to meet the needs of various skill levels. Relevant aquatic therapy research will be discussed as it relates to the clinical decision-making process. The goal of this session is to provide the clinician skills to apply the research recommendations into practice.

Cardiovascular Assessment and Activity to Mediate Decline with Neuromuscular Conditions

Aerobic cardiovascular fitness is comparatively low for individuals with SCI, approximately 25% of otherwise healthy young individuals with SCI fail to achieve oxygen consumption levels sufficient to perform essential activities of daily living (ADLs). Glucose metabolism, cytokine levels, HDL concentration, and self-esteem magnitude can be modified through increased physical activity including arm cycle ergometry, functional electrical stimulation, robotically assisted treadmill training, and aquatic exercise. However, controversy exists regarding the frequency and intensity required to achieve these beneficial effects. Clinically it is vital for optimal client health to assess baseline and post intervention cardiovascular levels. This presentation will increase understanding of cardiovascular fitness assessment and intervention for individuals with spinal cord injury as well as other chronic neuromuscular conditions. Pragmatic case examples demonstrate the systemic health issues linked to cardiovascular fitness, intervention concepts, and assessment possibilities (clinical and research). Our ultimate goal is to increase practitioner awareness and advocacy for annual cardiovascular assessment and intervention for all individuals living with chronic neuromuscular conditions.

Navigating the Waters of Patients in Pain: A Pain Neuroscience Approach to Aquatic Physical Therapy

Our world is immersed in a pain crisis, and many patients are referred for aquatic physical therapy to address issues related to acute and chronic pain. Leading research pioneers in pain science stress the need to assess and change our patients’ cognitions, beliefs and fears BEFORE launching into a movement-based approach to rehabilitation. This webinar will provide an introduction to Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) and demonstrate how to incorporate PNE concepts into aquatic therapy sessions; differentiate “tissue issues” from “pain issues”; and how to invite patients to begin the conversation to share their pain experience. Participants will be introduced to current research as well as discover opportunities for more in-depth PNE education and training.