Aquatic therapy, or pool therapy, generally consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. It is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for an assortment of medical conditions.
In addition, aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to help in patient healing and exercise performance.
Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy
One benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy aids in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints.
Most Palmdale Aquatic Therapist will tell you that this aspect of aquatic therapy is especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is simpler and less painful to perform exercises.
The viscosity of water provides an excellent source of resistance that can be easily incorporated into an aquatic therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need for weights.
Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that can not be experienced on land.
Aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness.
The hydrostatic pressure develops forces perpendicular to the body’s surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient.
As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results in injury or with arthritic disorders.
Finally, most Palmdale Aquatic Therapist say the warmth of the water experience during aquatic therapy assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas.
Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this part of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.
Limitations With Aquatic Therapy
Although aquatic therapy can be helpful, there may be some limitations to it. First, the gains that you make while exercising in the water may not equate to functional gains outside of the water.
Walking in water may be easy due to the buoyancy created, but once you exit the pool, you still may have difficulty walking on dry land.
Aquatic therapy may also simply feel good, but the overall effect of the pool therapy may be the same as functional and strength gains that are hoped for. You should clearly understand the distinct goals that you are seeking to accomplish when you take on aquatic therapy.
Some Folks Should Not Take Part In Aquatic Therapy
It is crucial to understand, that aquatic therapy is not meant for everyone. People with cardiac disease should not participate in aquatic therapy.
Those who have fevers, infections, or bowel/bladder incontinence are also not candidates for aquatic therapy. Our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you always discuss this with your physician prior to beginning an aquatic therapy program.
Obviously, if you do not know how to swim, you should not part take in pool therapy unless your physical therapist is fully aware of your lack of swimming knowledge and can provide you with full assistance 100% of the time.
If you have an injury or illness that causes a limitation in functional mobility, you may benefit from the skilled services of a professional Palmdale Physical Therapist to aid in helping you recover fully.
Overall, you may actually benefit from aquatic therapy to help you fully return to your baseline mobility and to get back to your daily activity level.