Aqua therapy, weight loss program help ease joint pain

A pair of programs offered by KORT Physical Therapy can help patients ease pain in their joints and improve their mobility.

Aquatic therapy offers a number of advantages for patients with mobility issues, KORT physical therapist Lauren Stubbs said. Water’s buoyancy reduces stress on joints and allows therapy and exercise without the risk of falling. It also allows them to work without their walkers or canes, she said.

On a recent Tuesday morning, Stubbs was working with Bill Columbia in the pool at Clark County Parks and Recreation. After walking toward the deeper end of the pool, she had Columbia work on exercises to help with mobility in his back.

Stubbs schedules all her aquatic therapy clients for Tuesdays. The number of patients can vary from week to week, she said, but 12 would be a maximum. It can be used for a number of problems including chronic pain, fibromyalgia and lower back pain.

“It’s fun,” Stubbs said. “Anything that’s appropriate for the program, we’ll schedule them when they come in for their regular visit.”

Weight can stress joints, so KORT also offers a weight management program to help minimize pain and improve mobility.

Called POWR (Personalized Orthopedic Weight Reduction), Stubbs said the program helps patients on multiple fronts with both issues.

“We’re helping people with some orthopedic issues and losing weight,” she said. “We’re trying to help them have a healthier lifestyle.”

Part of it is exercise and fitness counseling, but it also includes accountability and coaching in finding a healthier lifestyle, including finding recipes for healthier versions of favorite recipes, she said.

“We’ll check in once a week, weigh in and go over their recipes… and help figure out what’s in the recipes they love” and work to find a healthier alternative.

“It’s really exciting,” she said. “In the last three years, all the clinics’ patients lost 3,000 pounds.

“If I can keep them coming back regularly, I can help them lose 12 to 15 pounds. It’s not a quick weight loss way, but hopefully it’s a long-term way.”

For more information, call 744-4411.