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How Does Aquatic Therapy Work?

Quite simply, Aquatic therapy or pool therapy is physiotherapy that is performed in the water. Aquatic therapy is a rehabilitation option that allows people to exercise in a water environment. To that end, it should only be performed by trained and certified specialists.

You do not need to know how to swim to do aquatic therapy, and although it is done in water, it is not the same thing as swim lessons.  

So, what are the properties that make aquatic therapy effective?

Buoyancy, a feature of waterassists in supporting the weight of the patient, which reduces stress on the joints. This is useful for any condition that makes weight-bearing difficult, from bone fractures to sprains and strains.

Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups without the joint stress incurred on land.

Hydrostatic pressure, also called gravitational pressure, assists in improving proprioception—the sense of one’s body in space—which can become diminished following torn ligaments or joint sprains. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing swelling caused by injury or for those with arthritis.

Finally, the warmth of the water allows muscles to relax and increases blood flow to injured areas, which assists in healing. Any muscle pain, and fibromyalgia are the types of conditions particularly assisted by this aspect of aquatic therapy.

Read about Multi-Specialty HealthCare's Aquatic Therapy Program by visiting our Aquatic therapy page.