Aquatic therapy is a growing form of physical therapy that can help patients of all ages. The water is soothing and really appeals to those who are in need of treatment that can heal the body, while also rehabilitating and building fitness levels.
What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is form of physical therapy that simply takes place in a pool or other aquatic environment under the supervision of a trained and licensed healthcare professional. Aquatic therapy is also known as water therapy, aquatic rehabilitation, aqua therapy, pool therapy, therapeutic aquatic exercise or hydrotherapy.
Aquatic therapy is designed to help patients improve their flexibility, balance, and coordination, build muscle strength, and even reduce stress. Water therapy is generally offered in a variety of places like hospitals, sports medicine clinics and traditional outpatient rehabilitation centers. Senior living centers may also provide aquatic therapy services to their residents as a way to encourage their residents to maintain or improve fitness levels, balance and strength.
Patients that may not be able to perform some exercises on land because of the extent of their injury or disability. There are upsides to pool therapy that allow patients to achieve better, quicker results. These benefits include:
- Water provides a warm and relaxing environment that can alleviate aching joints and muscles.
- The water’s buoyancy reduces stress on injured or aching joints.
- The natural resistance can be helpful for muscle strengthening and progressions.
- Aquatic therapy can result in less pain throughout the recovery process.
- The therapy can also begin sooner than typical land-based therapy programs.
Conditions Aquatic PT Can Treat:
Because of the low impact benefits of being in the pool, performing physical therapy in a warm pool can be helpful for patients suffering from the following conditions:
- Arthroscopic surgery recovery
- Balance disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Chronic pain
- Idiopathic joint pain
- Joint reconstruction surgery recovery
- Joint replacement surgery recovery
- Lower back pain
- Orthopedic injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injury
- Sprains and strains
- Traumatic Brain Injury