Aquatic therapy is used to treat acute, transient and chronic conditions. Specifically designed exercise programs are used to enhance, restore and improve a person’s functional abilities.
Therapists can adjust water currents in the therapy pool to create an ideal environment for patients to gradually increase resistance and challenge balance as they build strength. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress on joints, and provides resistance and assistance to movement. As therapy progresses, patients can improve mobility, strength and function rapidly during the healing process.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy provides numerous benefits to patients as it reinforces the abilities and tasks of land-based therapy to create a cohesive program. Aquatic therapy encourages:
- Decreased pain, swelling, stiffness, muscle spasm
- Improved posture, balance and coordination
- Enhanced relaxation and freedom of movement for increased muscle tone
- Increased circulation, range of motion and flexibility
- Better mobility through reduced joint strain
- Enhanced sensory feedback and body awareness
- Improved muscle strength, tone and endurance
Buoyancy increases freedom of movement for injured, disabled and overweight people. It is used to decrease gravitational forces placed on weak limbs that are less able to bear weight. Buoyancy allows a person to move more easily with decreased stress on muscles, joints and bones.
Aquatic therapy is provided in a heated pool. The warm water relaxes muscles and allows for improved joint range of motion.
The water surrounding the body helps to circulate blood from the legs to the heart, which often reduces any swelling in the ankles and feet. Once swelling is reduced, joint tenderness may decrease and range of motion can increase.
Therapy Pool Features
- A hydraulic lift
- Eight workout stations, including kinetic exercise benches and steps, and an angled running platform
- A treadmill, allowing patients to exercise in a limited weight-bearing environment
- An in-pool video camera, allowing the care team to observe a patient’s movements during exercise sessions for better analysis and diagnosis