By Jennifer Lawson
Water therapy can be extremely effective to relieve pain, increase strength and improve mobility and balance. Holston Medical Group (HMG) Rehabilitation Services will launch a new HMG Aquatic Therapy class at the Kingsport Aquatic Center in January to help people living with a variety of conditions, including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, total joint replacement, rheumatoid arthritis, poor balance, muscle weakness, musculoskeletal back pain and post-surgical discomfort.
HMG’s physical therapy instructors will provide expert guidance as participants perform progressive therapeutic exercises and water-based activities in a specially designed warm pool, helping them achieve the overall goal of improved health and quality of life.
Mary Rieder of Kingsport participated in the inaugural HMG Aquatic Therapy class last fall. While she was initially nervous, after a couple of twice-weekly sessions, Rieder couldn’t wait to return. She especially appreciates the individualized attention that class members receive from the therapists. Rieder severely injured her hip in a fall eight years ago, tearing muscles, ligaments, tendons and dislocating the hip joint. After four surgeries and two total hip replacements, she finds relief and a sense of freedom in the water.
“In the water, I can move. It’s the first time I’ve felt like that in years,” Rieder said. “It’s made such a big difference. It’s the best thing ever.”
The six-week session begins Jan. 21, and classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. Class size is limited to 20.
There are two ways to participate in the HMG Aquatic Therapy class – as a patient referred through HMG Rehabilitation and as a community member. Health insurance benefits often cover the cost of the classes for those who suffer from painful or debilitating conditions if referred through HMG Rehabilitation Services. Those interested in enrolling in the class as part of their physical therapy plan of care should speak with their primary care provider or specialist about a referral to HMG Rehabilitation. After an initial evaluation, the therapist and patient together can determine if the class is appropriate, and therapist will then help with enrollment. To speak to HMG Rehabilitation about a referral, details about the class or insurance coverage, please call 423-578-1560.
Additionally, limited space is made available to community member participants for a fee. Members of the Kingsport Aquatic Center or the Greater Kingsport Family YMCA may enroll in the six-week, 12-class session for $60. Nonmembers may enroll for $75.
For more information about the program, call the Kingsport Aquatic Center at 423-343-9758. For information about aquatic fitness programming, visit www.swimkingsport.com.