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Whether you are a high-level athlete recovering from a sport specific injury, or an aging adult with chronic pain and impaired balance, aquatic therapy may be the answer for you.
Aquatic therapy is a skilled and evidence-based practice conducted by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. In aquatic therapy, a patient or group of patients participate in therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, and manual therapy techniques in the aquatic environment. These exercises are designed to improve muscle strength, power, endurance, gait mechanics, ambulatory tolerance, flexibility, body mechanics, postural stabilization, balance, coordination, agility, aerobic capacity, relaxation, pain, and overall function.
The unique properties of the aquatic environment allow for patients of various ages and functional levels to participate in a supervised treatment regimen designed to meet the patient’s goals and achieve overall improvement in the patient’s impairments and functional limitations.
Aquatic therapy promotes a greater quality of life and functional independence. Research shows aquatic therapy enhances treatment for patients with a variety of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary disorders or conditions.
- The benefits of aquatic therapy include:
- Treatment of multiple body parts at the same time
- Buoyancy, which reduces the effects of the gravity, and can lessen weight through joints, offering an alternate treatment for patients who can bear little to no weight on their joints
- Immersion in warm water helps to reduce pain, increase circulation and promote relaxation
- Water resistance can be a tool, if indicated, with strengthening exercises
All aquatic programs follow a thorough evaluation and the individualized plan of care that will be customized to meet the patient’s specific needs.