Aquatic therapy is a form of therapy in the pool using specially designed activities to restore and increase a patient’s functional abilities. Aquatic therapy can offer many benefits to people as far as after surgery, injury or illness. During that time patients may have increased sensitivity to pain and the ability to weight bear on land may be painful due to restrictions or limited movement.

During therapy in a pool the water is warmer, therefore it facilitates muscle relaxation. The buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of weight bearing through the body, resulting in less pain for the patient making it easier to complete the exercises designed to promote functional abilities as well as to increase the healing time. While exercising in the pool the viscosity of the water also provides resistance for strength training.

Therapy in the pool can be beneficial to people of all ages. It allows patients to work on; muscle tone and strengthening, increasing cardiovascular function, decreasing swelling, increasing circulation, strength and endurance as well as range of motion, flexibility, balance and coordination. The three main goals of aquatic therapy are to restore functional ability of the body, maintain functional ability of the body and last to enhance the functional ability of the body.

Aquatic therapy can be prescribed to adults and children with many different conditions such as; back pain/spondylolisthesis/stenosis, chronic pain, injury from sports or daily activities, sprain/strains, joint pain/fibromyalgia/arthritis/osteoarthritis, total hip/knee/shoulder replacements, after surgery on back/hips/knees/ankles/shoulders/neck, prior to surgery, severe deconditioning/weakness, spinal cord injury, stroke, children with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy,  multiple sclerosis, etc. Listed below are some examples of certain diagnoses and some of the things we work on in the pool to decrease pain and improve the functional ability of the patients. Each patient is evaluated before being treated, that way each patient has their own plan of care based on their needs not necessarily the diagnosis.

young man with a pain in a waist on a white background. Rear view of a young male

Low Back Pain

We work on stabilization and/or strengthening of the spine, core muscles and hips, manipulation or manual and/or massage of the back/pelvic region to decrease pain and realign the spine/pelvic as well as improving mobility of the spine.

We have an underwater treadmill as well as hoses to hook up to the jets for deep tissue massage.

Total_hip_replacement

Total Hip Replacement

We focus on decreasing pain as well as tightness and gradually work on strengthening of the hip as well as the spine and core muscles based on patient’s needs, we do stretches in the pool (aqua stretch), manual/massage to decrease pain and tightness.

uni-knee

Total Knee Replacement

We focus on getting flexion and extension back in the knee, decrease the swelling and tightness through stretches to hip/hamstring/quad/calf, manual mobs and massage, once the range of motion and swelling is doing good we start to progress through different strengthening and balance.

There is not one way to proceed through the healing/strengthening process as stated before it is based on what the patient’s goals and needs are.

Doing therapy in the pool you seem to have faster results due to the water helping assist, support and resist movements allowing the patient to relax and be in less pain. We gradually progress patients based on how they are improving and what they are capable of doing.