What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is a form of therapy where exercises are performed in water. The unique properties of water allow individuals to benefit as they would with land based therapy only with less weight on the joints, reduced inflammation, less pain and discomfort, and resistance without the pull of gravity. Not to mention it's fun.
Who can Benefit?
Along with these properties aquatic therapy also provides a safe environment for those who lack coordination and balance, provides mobility for those with spasticity or lack of tone, improves sensory processing skills, assists with improving appetites for dietary changes, and increases confidence with social interaction. As you can see, there are many benefits to aquatic therapy. Individuals who can benefit from aquatic therapy are those with:
Low back pain/Neck pain
Acute/chronic injuries (soft tissue injuries, auto accident injuries, etc.)
Orthopedic injuries/Sports injuries (sprains and strains)
Pre/Post surgical (total joint replacements, post mastectomy, etc.)
Neurological conditions (Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Stroke, etc.)
Pediatric developmental delays
How does Aquatic Therapy Work?
Buoyancy: assists in supporting your weight which decreases the amount of weight-bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. By decreasing the amount stress on the joints it is easier and less painful to perform exercises. This also allows individuals to perform exercises with supported motions of the body that they may not otherwise be able to perform on land.
Viscosity: resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy to help strengthen muscles, improve posture, and increase joint stability without stress on the joints and without the need for weights.
Hydrostatic Pressure: pressure exerted by the water on a submerged body or body part that assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling along with providing joint positional awareness for proprioception.
Temperature: warmth of the water assist with relaxing the muscles, increasing blood flow, and reducing pain.