Much research and efforts later, clinicians have created aquatics therapy with individual patients in mind. Through much experience, therapists found that many patients were in too much pain to be fully mobile or due to their current condition (i.e. pregnancy, obesity, old age) they were unable to work at their maximum capacity which led to slower recovery. Aquatics therapy is evidence based practice physical therapist to treat, rehabilitate, prevent, heal, cure, and restore an individual’s maximum capabilities in order to complete their daily activities. The practice is carried out with or without assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective or supportive devices and equipment. With the uniqueness of its properties, aquatics therapy enhances the patient’s rehabilitation in their musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, as well as integumentary system conditions.
Goals of aquatics therapy include improved function, aerobic capacity, endurance conditioning, improved balance, coordination and agility, focus on the body mechanics and postural stabilization, patient’s flexibility, improve gait and locomotion, help the patient relax, and improve the patient’s overall muscle strength, power and endurance. The beauty of this therapy is that it is water specific, making the patient 80% weightless. It can treat a patient’s acute, transient and chronic conditions at any level. At Classic Rehabilitation, Inc. we have the resources to treat patients after an illness, injury or surgery with aquatics therapy because a patient’s sensitivity to pain may be augmented with the ability to bear weight on their injured area intolerable. Aquatics therapy supports the patient’s body by reducing stress on their joints while providing resistance with assistance to be moveable.
Our patients have also seen improvement the swelling (edema) around their site of injury and amplified circulation. Physical therapy is not just about the body healing physically, but it is also about the patient’s mental, emotional, psychosocial and physiological well-being. Some patients who greatly benefit from aquatics therapy are:
- Repetitive Stress Disorders
- Chronic fatigue Syndrome
- Guillain Barré Syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy.
Moreover, here are the four main differences between aquatics therapy and traditional physical therapy on land:
- Buoyancy – providing support and assistance for patients. Decreases gravitational forces placed on weak limbs that are less able to bear weight. Decreases joint stress and increases mobility.
- Heat – aquatics therapy is provided in a heated pool; temperatures range from 88 to 92 degrees. Warm water relaxes muscles.
- Hydrostatic pressure – water helps circulate blood through the heart and lower extremities. Reduces swelling.
- Resistance – improves balance and strength in all muscles in all directions. On land a muscle can only move in one direction at one time. This also improves sensory function.
Conclusively, aquatics therapy presents the least amount of risk for a patient, except for patients who may have a respiratory or dermatological condition. Some patients may find the breathing difficult or others may develop a skin rash. To avoid any variability in a patient’s treatment we strongly recommend a patient disclose their full past medical history to both their physician and physical therapist.
Contact Classic Rehabilitation today for your questions and concerns pertaining to aquatic therapy. Currently we are conveniently located in Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Bedford providing all our patients with complete physical therapy modalities.