Aquatic therapy is the use of water and specifically designed activities to enhance, restore and maintain a person’s functional abilities. Some people require aquatic therapy to help treat illness or injury. Their sensitivity to pain may have increased due to their condition. The ability for that person to bear weight on the injured area may also be limited.
When you are in the water the pull of gravity is not as strong as on land. This makes motion and functional activity more comfortable. Water also supports the body, reduces stress on joints and provides resistance and assistance to movement. If you deal with joint pain then this post by Urban Naturale may help you.
Patients can enjoy these benefits from aquatic therapy treatment:
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased cardiovascular function
- Reduced stress
- Decreased swelling
- increased circulation
- increased strength and endurance
- increased range of motion and flexibility
- increased balance and coordination
Aquatic therapy helps with buoyancy by providing assistance and support. It also decreases forces placed on weak limbs and allows patients to move more easily with decreased stress on muscles, joints and bones.
Therapists can use a variety of aquatic therapy equipment to treat different conditions. The use of a swim spa or heated pool with temperatures ranging from 94-96 degrees helps relax the muscles and allows improvement in joint range of motion. Hydraulic jets cause the water to surround the body which helps with blood circulation and swelling. Using resistance equipment like a water treadmill, allows for improvement in balance and muscle strength.
Aquatic therapy can benefit several medical conditions including, repetitive stress disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Guillian Barre syndrome, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, pregnancy and obesity.