Dive in! 5 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Fun fact: Water is the best environment to achieve full function regardless of injury or limitation. Because of this, we are so excited to begin our Aquatic Therapy program at our Covington location starting April 2016!
Aquatic therapy has a long history of benefitting people of all ages to regain function, build muscles and improve movement with the help of water’s natural, and seemingly magical, resistance.
HOW DOES AQUATIC THERAPY WORK?
The basis of aquatic therapy is the application of water’s natural hydrostatic pressure. Because of water’s ability to consistently adapt to a person’s movements, it works as a compressor against the skin, muscles and joints which can help to alleviate chronic muscle aches.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AQUATIC THERAPY?
The list of benefits far exceeds a small list of five but these are some of our favorite and most important benefits that aquatic therapy provides:
-INCREASED MOVEMENT: Because of water’s natural ability to reduce the presence of gravity, a person is able to move much more freely than on land. For example, if a 200 lb. person was placed in waist-deep water, they would only weigh 100 lbs. Put this same person in neck-deep water and their body weight has decreased to only 20 lbs.
- IMPROVED RESISTANCE: Thanks to hydrostatic pressure, the body is forced to work a little bit harder against the water’s resistance. Because of this, muscles become toned much faster with less chance of injury or atrophy. The water also works with the body to maintain balance – a key component to those who can’t work out on land due to risk of falling.
- EASY ACCESS: Being in a water environment allows a therapist to swim around you and work with all parts of your body. The therapist may be able to increase rotation or movement without you feeling uncomfortable or in pain thanks to water’s natural massage and pain reduction.
- HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE: The great thing about aquatic therapy in warm water is that it doesn’t require a lot of warm-up time to get the body in a proper state for hard therapy. Treatment can begin as soon as a patient is immersed in the water as the body will become instantly relaxed and moveable.
- DULLED PAIN & TOUCH: One of the toughest parts of physical therapy is the pain that can happen when moving muscles or joints that have experienced serious injury. The hydrostatic pressure in water will automatically dull the reticular system – the part of the brain that deals with tactile sensory neurons – and the patient will feel little to no pain when performing therapy. No more coaxing from the physical therapist!
We cannot wait to start the aquatic therapy program and we look forward to working with new and old patients in transforming their physical therapy experience! For more information about the aquatic therapy program or to speak with one of our therapists, please contact us!