Aquatic therapy is a form of physical therapy that centers on care that is performed in the water. This is one of the oldest forms of physical therapy and has a great number of benefits.
As far back as the Ancient Greeks, aquatic therapy, also referred to as hydrotherapy, or pool therapy, has been a trusted form of treatment for any number of ailments and problems.
The water is an effective tool in the rehabilitation of patients who may otherwise find it difficult to perform the required exercises on land. This is thanks to the reduced weight of the patient while submerged in water. For those with joint pain and other similar problems, the reduction of stress on these areas makes it easier for the physical therapy to take place. Others that would benefit from the reduction of weight include those with chronic pain, obese patients, and patients with orthopedic conditions.
Not only this, but the water’s natural resistance is an excellent tool in exercising. Strengthening muscles for those healing from fractures and for those suffering from arthritis is easier done in the water than out of the water. The physical therapy routine can be performed while in the water without the worry of placing too much strain on the affected area. This increases the proficiency of the treatment and quickens recovery time. Working with such restrictions will improve the patient’s range of motion which is an important goal of physical therapy. Rheumatologic arthritis sufferers, and those limited in their movements due to any number of conditions will enjoy the results of the aquatic therapy exercises.
Physical therapists that use water to help in the rehabilitation process understand all the benefits associated with this treatment. There are several exercises and procedures that are used by the physical therapist, along with various devices that will be implemented in the aquatic therapy. A few of these devices will look like every day pool toys. Water Noodles are used for balancing, and inner tubes for abdominal exercises or support. Other equipment such as weights and other resistance devices can aid in learning how to walk again or improving balance.
Aquatic therapy is a wonderful form of physical therapy and has many uses and benefits for the patient. Not everyone is the ideal candidate for such a procedure, but those that do qualify, like those with arthritis, can find that aquatic therapy will greatly aid in the rehabilitation process. When undertaking any physical therapy treatments, even aquatic therapy, it is important to discuss any and all potential benefits and drawbacks, not only with your primary care physician, but with the therapist as well.