Originally Published: February 14, 2018 6:05 a.m.
When you think about getting into a pool, you might think of floating, relaxing, or splashing around having fun. After some time in a pool, you may feel like the worries of the world have been lifted away, or you may be tired and ready for a nap from your activity in the water.
A pool can also be used for physical therapy. With the care of a skilled clinician, physical therapy in a pool can help you reduce your pain, improve your strength and endurance, and recover from a recent medical procedure.
How does it work?
Aquatic therapy can encourage healing by utilizing the forces of gravity, buoyancy, and resistance. Gravity and buoyancy work opposite one another to reduce compression on joints and soft tissue of the body, allowing a patient to experience decreased pain.
With less pain, movement is more free, and exercises can be continued for a longer period. Resistance from the water pushes back against the body, and by overcoming the resistance, a patient improves muscle strength and endurance. Resistance can be adjusted by how the patient moves through the water and by using paddles, foam dumbbells and a myriad of other equipment.
Other benefits of aquatic therapy
It feels good!
Therapy pools are heated and kept between therapeutic temperatures to provide a comfortable treatment environment. The temperature of the water can help with relaxation, which allows for better stretching of muscles and surrounding tissue.
The gentle pressure of the water against the patient increases cardio-pulmonary function, allowing nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, which aides in muscle health and recovery.
Water pressure also helps reduce swelling and increases kidney function, which helps with the elimination of excess fluid.
With all these benefits to being in the water, why would anyone not want to? Some fear the water, and not being able to swim can also cause a patient to feel reluctant to participate in aquatherapy. But a clinician will be there to guide you and ensure your safety and positive experience with aquatic therapy.
The water is fine
You may have not been aware that aquatic therapy is an option, or even heard of it before. But, aquatic therapy is an effective treatment method for numerous diagnoses, including arthritis and low-back pain. Aquatherapy can also be helpful in for surgery and recovery from surgery.
Aquatic therapy can be safely administered across the diverse population of patients, from the prenatal mother with hip and back pain to the senior adult who wants to maintain fitness and mobility.
Find a facility and jumping feet first into your wellness and recovery!