What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is a vital component of functional rehabilitation for patients who have limited tolerance to land-based exercise programs. The buoyancy of the water, coupled with the therapeutic effect of the heated water, allows for a graded progression through partial weight-bearing exercises. Aquatic therapy also can allow athletes and post-operative patients to recover at a faster rate. Our pool therapy program is implemented after you have been examined by a physical therapist.
Benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy
There are many benefits of aquatic therapy in addition to the low stress environment introduced by buoyancy. Some of those perks include: improved ability to perform range of motion and flexibility exercises for those where land based exercises are too much load, safe environment for working on balance, edema/swelling control, improved muscle tone and strength, improved cardiovascular endurance, and increased sensory output. Buoyancy will aid in passive range of motion and flexibility with decreased muscle guarding. The hydrostatic pressure of the water increases sensory output with all motion and exercises performed, as well as assisting with edema control. The drag, or resistance in the water aids in improving muscle tone and strength. All of these different factors can make water a safe alternative, as well as an adjunct to land based therapy.
How does Aquatic Physical Therapy work?
Your physical therapist will then incorporate comprehensive interventions to reduce pain while improving your range of motion, flexibility, strength, endurance and function. While not every condition needs aquatic physical therapy, a special aquatic therapy pool offers an added level of versatility in patients’ treatment options. The resistance that water provides augments cardiovascular stamina, muscle toning and flexibility. Joint compression and pain are also significantly reduced. Buoyancy has a therapeutic effect of decreasing stress on weight bearing joints. Injury and pain risk in aquatic exercise is greatly minimized due to this support and decreased joint stress. A physical therapy program that makes use of aquatic therapy may also be used in conjunction with land-based interventions to maximize your rehabilitative potential.