Aquatic Physical Therapy is the skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant under the supervision of a physical therapist. Aquatic Physical Therapy includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness and fitness of patient/client populations in an aquatic environment with or without the use of assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, or supportive devices and equipment
The difference is that aquatic physical therapy requires the "skilled service" of a PT and/or PTA which may include: the clinical reasoning and decision making skills of a PT/PTA; the patient has impairments and/or disabilities which can be minimized or eliminated with aquatic physical therapy; and the patient has potential to maximize functional goals/outcomes to improve quality of life and ease the burden of care. the implementation of such therapy must comply with all standards of care which impact all other treatment services. Aquatic Exercise is the utilization of water for the implementation of quality of life, fitness-related or general health-related goals; can be delivered in a group setting that includes multiple clients and diagnoses; can be delivered by an individual other than a licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant; and usually has little or no accompanying paperwork, insurance involvement or written follow-up information required.
Physiotherapy (also known as physical therapy) is a health profession concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and disability through physical means. It is based upon principles of medical science and is generally held to be within the sphere of conventional (rather than alternative) medicine.
In many states, Physical Therapists have what is known as 'direct access' meaning, patients can legally see them directly, without a referral. However, some insurance companies require a referral in order to pay. Texas currently does not have direct access.
Be prepared to move around a lot during your first physical therapy session. With that in mind, make sure you wear clothing that is easy to move around in. If you have shoulder pain, wear a shirt that allows access to your shoulder and arm. Shorts should be worn if you have hip pain, knee pain, or ankle pain. If your going to do aquatic therapy, a one-piece bathing suit, covered by shorts, and a t-shirt are fine.
The fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy are often confused. While both roles provide essential hands-on rehabilitative work to help clients perform everyday tasks as independently as possible, each field takes a diverse approach to helping people get back to their usual way of life. The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that OT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and PT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform the movements of the human body.
Occupational therapists can perform occupational therapy evaluations without a referral or prescription. However, to implement an OT treatment plan, under certain circumstances, you must have a referral or prescription from a licensed health care provider acting within his or her scope of practice.