Aquatic therapy or water therapy is a form of low-impact exercise performed in a pool or body of water. It is used to treat and rehabilitate different medical conditions like arthritis. It is also used for post-surgical recovery.
Aquatic therapy is a popular form of treatment because of the benefits it provides patients. One important benefit of this therapy is its less impact to the joints. The natural buoyancy of the water removes the pressure and stress from the affected muscles and joints. By lowering the stress levels on the joints, pain is reduced. Also, this therapy can help in releasing endorphins, the body’s pain killer. It can greatly improve a patient’s breath control, lung capacity and overall fitness.
The natural resistance of the water helps in strengthening the muscles. Resistance exercises have greater effect in water. Aquatic therapy can help in providing more effective workouts as compared to exercises done on land.
Doing water exercises in lukewarm water can boost the benefits of aquatic therapy. In most cases, wherein the joints might be stiff and too painful to move, performing exercises in a heated pool can help in decreasing pain, reducing stiffness and makes it much easier for the joints to move.
Another added benefit in doing aquatic therapy is the improvement in aerobic conditioning. Aerobic conditioning is needed since it helps in lowering the blood pressure, improving lung capacity and breathing, controlling blood sugar and in preventing heart attacks. Aerobic exercises can also increase stamina, longevity and is greatly beneficial for patients suffering from asthma.
There are several techniques used when it comes to aquatic therapy. These are aimed to improve the patient’s function, balance, endurance, relaxation, flexibility and muscle strength.
Walking forwards and backwards in water is a good therapeutic exercise for patients with arthritis in the legs, knees or hips. Because of the water’s buoyancy, a 10 minute exercise on land is worth about 40 minutes in water.
Leg stretches and knee exercises are part of aquatic therapy exercises. Leg stretches are good in stretching the muscles of the shoulder. It is also good for those joints in the patient’s back. Knee exercises on the other hand, stretches the thighs, buttocks and the lower back without needing to much energy.
Patients who are recovering from injuries or surgeries should always be attended to by a physical therapist when they start aquatic therapy. As the patient grows stronger and more confident in the water, he or she can perform self exercises.
Know more about aquatic therapy by visiting any physical therapy clinic in Drexel hill, Pennsylvania