Aquatic therapy, a sub-specialty in the fields of physical or occupational therapy that is completed in a swimming pool, can help and benefit individuals with MS by aiding in improving flexibility and motion, allowing muscles to relax, and lowering pain.

In addition, aquatic exercise – can also assist in achieving these same results. Knowledge of swimming is not required for either aquatic therapy or aquatic exercise. The two fields resemble each and can work together.

Unfortunately, insurance limits the number of physical or occupational therapy sessions a person can have, so after the therapy visits are over, it’s typically great for a person to then switch to aquatic exercise, which costs less. Individuals without insurance coverage for therapy can begin with aquatic exercise instead.

In addition, our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that aquatic therapy can only be facilitated by a physical therapist or occupational therapist, while aquatic specialists usually lead aquatic exercise classes.

Although aquatic specialists are generally not required to have any specific certification, most aquatic specialists take classes through the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI) or the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA).

When muscles are stiff and tight, the body doesn’t move the way it’s supposed to. Our Palmdale Physical Therapy specialist say that with individuals who lack range of motion, exercise will tire them more quickly, so we perform AquaStretch to improve their range of motion.

AquaStretch is a technique performed in water that is three-to-four feet deep, where the therapist applies soft gentle pressure to the client’s skin and the connective tissue restriction underneath the skin, which facilitates or accentuates the client’s intuitive movement.

Individuals can exercise in the water without the pain they would typically feel on land, since water gives them an opportunity to have less pressure on their joints. As a result, they can move more freely since buoyancy lifts and pulls them up.

Overall, water exercise helps gross and fine motor skills, flexibility, the sensory system, the cardiovascular system, the pulmonary system, the musculoskeletal system, bone strength, lung capacity for someone who is always in a wheelchair, and it also help increase breath control.