Aqua therapy, or physical therapy exercise program
in the pool, has its unique benefits. Aqua therapy utilizes specific properties
of the water to facilitate healing, providing both assistance and resistance
to achieve maximum therapeutic effect.
The buoyancy allows patients to minimize weight bearing and reduce the stress on the joints. This aspect is very important in treatment of arthritis, patients with limited weight bearing, or those who are overweight. This allows patients to sustain fairly strenuous exercise programs without irritating injured tissue or joints.
The viscosity of water is being utilized as an additional resistance, which is naturally incorporated into the exercise program.
The resistance, coupled with buoyancy, allows exercising muscle groups and improving endurance, without stress on the affected tissue or joints, something that often cannot be achieved on land.
The hydrostatic pressure of the water allows decreasing swelling and facilitating joint positional awareness. This enhances postural awareness and proprioceptive control. The improvement in these qualities is crucial in the treatment of many orthopedic and neurological disorders. Physical therapy in the water is very beneficial in the treatment of muscular skeletal weakness and pain, arthritis, repetitive stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia (muscular pain) and many others.
90 degree pool environment facilitates muscular relaxation and vascular vasodilatation. It increases blood circulation in general, and enhances blood supply to the particular injured areas.
Lastly, aquatic therapy is a lot of fun. It is important to know, however, that the aquatic therapy is not appropriate for everyone. One should always consult with MD prior to attending aqua therapy sessions. Patients with acute fever, infection or incontinence are not qualified candidates for pool therapy.