Aquatic therapy is a physical therapy technique that uses water to reduce pain and improve mobility and function. Exercises are performed in therapeutic pools featuring warm water that makes motion easier and less painful. There are a number of reasons why a physical therapist might recommend aquatic therapy as a part of a patient’s treatment program.
Water heated to approximately 92° effectively relaxes tight muscles for relief from discomfort. The massaging effects of the water are also beneficial in alleviating pain and stiffness.
When pain is reduced, range of motion can be increased without causing more damage. The buoyancy of the water also provides for easier motion and greater flexibility during workouts.
Injury and medical conditions can result in tight, sore muscles that are difficult to stretch and work. The heat of the water relaxes muscles and minimizes muscle spasms, allowing for more productive workouts with less discomfort during and after exercise.
The pressure of the water improves circulation, allowing nutrients and oxygen to travel through the bloodstream more efficiently. This can lead to reduced swelling and a faster healing process.
In addition to the increased blood circulation, Physical Therapy in water improves the body’s ability to move fluidly from the area of injury. This process also leads to reduced swelling, which makes it easier for the body’s natural healing process to occur.
Patients that do not have the strength or balance to perform some exercises on land may find the water is the perfect environment for starting those therapeutic workouts a bit earlier. When a patient is exercising in the water, there is no concern over falls that could complicate the recovery process. Water buoyancy can also improve balance and trunk stability.
Many patients find that incorporating aquatic therapy into the physical therapy program speeds their progress and shortens recovery time. Water offers the double benefit of allowing patients to perform exercises earlier while working muscles more efficiently.
Aquatic therapy is one of the options available at In Motion O.C. To learn more about our rehabilitative and wellness programs, contact us at 949.861.8600 or by email at FrontDesk@InMotionOC.com.