Do you go to physical therapy and enjoy swimming? By combining the natural properties of water with the movement of your body, you’ve got a very effective physical therapy solution. Aquatic therapy is an extremely beneficial form of physical therapy that uses the water to do various exercises. By utilizing the water in the pool, patients can be treated for common conditions such as lower back pain, chronic pain, arthritis, and even post-surgery swelling.
Simply put, aquatic therapy is a hands-on type of therapy that utilizes the physical properties of the water to work on specific body movements. This is typically taught and supervised by a physical therapist who specializes in the field of aquatic therapy, so you are not doing this alone. Whether you are recovering from an injury, have a certain condition or just had surgery, aquatic therapy can be very beneficial. The water in the pool provides a natural buoyancy that helps avoid joint strain and supports the weight of a patient. Which can be especially helpful to patients with arthritis, are overweight, or are healing from fractured bones. The water’s viscosity also provides some resistance which can be easily incorporated into a lot of the aquatic therapy exercises. Allowing for muscle strengthening exercises without the need for weights.
Aquatic therapy can also reduce swelling and decrease pain. The hydrostatic pressure of the water provides compression to help reduce swelling from surgery on an injury. Having decreased swelling is essential for regaining the strength and motion needed for recovery. The warmth of the water can decrease any pain related to an injury or surgery. The warmer water temperature can also help relax tight or stiff muscles and joints. This aspect of aquatic therapy is especially therapeutic for patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia. Finally, aquatic therapy can be fun and challenging. The constantly changing environment of the water can be enjoyable. Keeping you motivated as you try to use aquatic therapy to help you recover.
By decreasing the amount of joint stress and utilizing the water’s natural resistance, aquatic therapy can be extremely beneficial. However, it is important to note that aquatic therapy is not for everyone. If you are thinking about doing aquatic therapy, please consult with your doctor.
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Article written by William Graves.