Aquatic therapy, or pool therapy, generally consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water.
Additionally, it is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for an assortment of medical conditions. Aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to help in patient healing and exercise performance.
Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy
One essential benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. Our Palmdale Aquatic Therapy specialist say that while in the water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient.
This lowers the amount of weight bearing which lowers the force of stress placed on the joints.
This aspect of aquatic therapy is vey helpful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By reducing the amount of joint stress it is simpler and less painful to perform exercises.
The viscosity of water provides an amazing source of resistance that can be seamlessly incorporated into an aquatic therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need for weights.
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that 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.
Furthermore, aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to help bring down swelling and improve joint position awareness. The hydrostatic pressure produces 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 crucial 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, the warmth of the water experience during aquatic therapy assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas.
Our Palmdale Aquatic Therapy experts say that patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.
Limitations Of Aquatic Therapy
Even though 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 not equal functional and strength gains that are hoped for. You should clearly understand the specific goals that you are seeking to achieve when you participate in aquatic therapy.
Some People Should Not Perform Aquatic Therapy
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say it is pivotal to know, however, that aquatic therapy is not for everyone. For example, individuals with cardiac disease should not take part in aquatic therapy.
Those who have fevers, infections, or bowel/bladder incontinence are also not candidates for aquatic therapy. Always discuss this with your physician prior to starting an aquatic therapy program.
Obviously, if you cannot swim, you should not participate in pool therapy unless your PT is 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 physical therapist to help you recover fully.
Overall, our Palmdale Aquatic Therapy specialist say you may benefit from aquatic therapy to help you fully return to your baseline mobility and to get back to your usual activity level.