Aquatic therapy uses the natural buoyancy of water to facilitate exercise without the compressive loading forces present with routine land-based programs.
What Is Aquatic Therapy?
Water exercise uses water for resistance. It also may be called water therapy, pool therapy, aqua therapy, or aquatics. It's good exercise for many people who have osteoarthritis, back pain, or fibromyalgia. It's often used to help people in rehab after a joint replacement.Exercising in water can increase your flexibility and range of motion without putting stress on your joints and spine. Warm water also helps relax your muscles.You can walk and run in water, as well as jump or kick. But it's not a weight-bearing exercise. So you will need to add other types of exercise to help make your bones stronger.
For patients who are in pain and are weakened due to an injury or disability, aquatic therapy offers the perfect solution to begin treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Aquatic Therapy?
Less Joint Impact - Exercises done in water are considered a low-impact activity. The water's natural buoyancy removes the stress and pressure off your muscles and joints, states the Mayo Clinic. Water provides a gentle way to exercise your joints, states the Arthritis Foundation. Exercises that caused too much joint stress on land can be done in water. Lowering your joint stress level will help lower your pain level.
Aqua therapy helps release endorphins, a natural pain killer.
Natural Resistance - Water's natural buoyancy helps you do resistance exercises. On land, you would do resistance exercises by lifting or pushing weights, according to the National Institutes of Aging. Water provides resistance without the possibility of falling. Falling is a concern of many patients when exercising on land, especially if you elderly. Balance becomes a major concern when dealing with an ageing population.
Increase Joint Flexibility - Aqua therapy in warm water can increase flexibility. On land, your joints may be too stiff and painful to move. Aqua therapy lessens your stiffness, decrease your pain level and make it easier to move your joints and improve your joint flexibility, according to the University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
Warm water is used to help patients deal with arthritis. - Warm water therapy (WWT) allows patients to begin therapy as soon as they are immersed in the water, foregoing the need for lengthy "warm-up" sessions. Physical therapy in warm water environments becomes more efficient than physical therapy on land since there is less time spent in just getting comfortable. In warm water therapy, treatment can begin almost immediately.
Aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness. The hydrostatic pressure produces forces perpendicular to the body’s surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient. As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling.
Specialty-Trained Aquatic Therapists
Our specialty-trained aquatic therapists will help you reach your goals. Innovative Physical Therapy provide safe, hands-on, effective, customized care for patients with any of the following:
Difficulty walking or limited weight-bearing capacity
Extremity injuries which prevent regular conditioning on normal surfaces or in athletic participation
Spinal dysfunction which prevents exercise on normal surfaces due to pain, immobility and/or compression.
Pregnancy-related musculoskeletal pain
Total hip/knee/joint replacements
Unsuccessful attempts at land-based therapy