What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic Therapy uses the resistance of the water and specifically designed activities to enhance, restore, and maintain a person's functional abilities. Research has shown aquatic therapy to have positive improvements for a variety of conditions such as pain management, neurological conditions, arthritis, past stroke, and more.
After an illness, injury, or surgery, a patient's sensitivity to pain may be increased or the ability to bear weight on the injured area limited. In water, the pull of gravity on the body is not as strong as on land, therefore motion and functional activity are more comfortable. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress, and provides resistance and assistance to movement. Patients can improve mobility, strength, and function rapidly during the healing process.
Other benefits include:
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased cardiovascular function
- Reduces stress
- Decreases swelling
- Increased circulation
- Increased strength and endurance
- Increased range of motion and flexibility
- Increased balance and coordination
Who Can Benefit From Aquatic Therapy?
The vast majority of people can participate in aquatic therapy, though it is not recommended for certain medical conditions. Individuals with a variety of disabilities and orthopedic conditions can participate in aquatic therapy. Those with back problems, knee injuries, ankle injuries, strokes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, and those who have orthopedic surgeries are just a few of the individuals who may benefit from aquatic therapy.
Other conditions treated with aquatic therapy include:
- Repetitive Stress Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Breathing Problems