Aquatic Physical Therapy Could Be An Effective Way To Recover From Surgery Or An Injury

If you need physical therapy to recover from surgery, repair an injury, or to treat a condition such as arthritis, consider aquatic physical therapy. Your doctor or therapist may recommend aquatic physical therapy because it has advantages over traditional therapy since your body is supported by water. Plus, being in water makes your sessions fun and relaxing. Here are some things you might experience with this type of physical therapy.

Using Underwater Equipment

An aquatic therapy pool is similar to a traditional pool, but it has a lot of differences too. For one thing, the pools are usually easier to enter with ramps or floors that raise and lower. Another big difference is handrails you can use to keep yourself steady if necessary. In addition, some pools have underwater equipment you can use such as treadmills or stationary bikes. Using exercise equipment under the water works out the same muscles that are worked out when you exercise on land. However, when you exercise in water, the water supports your body so there is less stress on your joints.

When you're in water, you have greater range of motion since the water supports your body. The therapist may have the option of raising and lowering the water in the pool to just the right height to control how much weight you bear on your joints. This helps speed your recovery and keeps you mobile when you're in too much pain or have limited mobility and it's difficult to exercise in the clinic or gym.

Dipping In Cold Or Hot Water

Some aquatic physical therapy pools are large enough for swimming and group classes. Others are sized for individual use for dipping and soaking. Depending on your medical condition and the goals of your therapy, your therapist may have you dip in cold water or soak in very warm water. Submerging your body in warm water can help relax tight muscles and may help with pain caused by muscle tension and spasms.

Stretching And Exercising In Water

Your therapist may take you through a series of stretches and exercises while you're in the water. These might be similar to water aerobics you do at the gym, but when you have therapeutic sessions with a physical therapist, the exercises are done with a goal in mind. The therapist may want to improve your range of motion or help you with balance problems.

Moving in water can help with muscle strengthening and be a form of aerobic exercise. Since you have to move against the water, which creates resistance, exercises done in the water can be more intense than those done on land, but at the same time, they can be more enjoyable and relaxing.