Aquatic therapy, often called pool therapy, refers to an exercise program that is performed in water. It could take place in any aquatic environment and need not be performed in a pool specifically. A trained healthcare professional is responsible for overseeing that aquatic therapy is performed safely. This type of physical therapy especially appeals to individuals who would like to improve their fitness levels and reduce stress on their bodies. The physical properties of water help to improve the patient’s exercise performance and healing.
How Does Aquatic Therapy Benefit You?
Common goals for any individual opting for aquatic therapy may include:
Successfully reducing stress and improving relaxation
Improving aerobic capacity
Helping with movement and gait
Enhancing balance and coordination
Building endurance and muscle strength
There are many benefits of aquatic therapy. The buoyancy provided by the water helps support the weight of the patient while he/she is submerged in water. It helps reduce the stress of weight experienced by our joints. If you are overweight, arthritic, or healing from fractured bones, you can utilize aquatic therapy to ease your joint stress.
In addition, the viscosity of water offers a commendable source of resistance, which is used for the patient’s benefit in an aquatic therapy exercise regimen. Using your own body’s resistance in aquatic therapy allows you to strengthen your muscles without ever lifting weights. You can strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress, which isn’t possible on land.
Aquatic therapy also makes good use of hydrostatic pressure. The hydrostatic pressure helps decrease swelling and enhances joint position awareness. The pressure is produced perpendicular to the body’s surface and makes a person more aware of their joint position. Patients who have been subject to joint sprains when they’ve sustained ligament tears usually experience a decrease in proprioception, which is the body’s ability to sense its movements and actions. Patients can improve their proprioception with the use of aquatic therapy. The hydrostatic pressure of water also decreases joint and soft tissue swelling, which can lead to injury or the development of arthritic disorders.
The warmth of the water experienced during this therapy helps relax muscles and vasodilate vessels, stimulating blood flow to injured areas. Individuals with muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, and back pain can use these properties to their benefit when indulging in aquatic therapy. It can help them relieve their symptoms.
Peak Physical Therapy
Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.
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