If you're looking for a therapeutic approach that combines the benefits of water with guidance from a physical therapist, then aquatic therapy might be just what you need.
In this article, we'll explore the conditions that can be treated with aquatic therapy, the difference between hydrotherapy and aquatic physical therapy, and whether aqua therapy is the same as physical therapy.
What is aquatic therapy?
Aquatic therapy is a type of physical therapy that takes place in a therapy pool. This is under the supervision and guidance of a trained therapist.
The therapy pool, designed to facilitate a range of exercises and movements in water, provides a safe and supportive environment for patients. The buoyancy and resistance of water make it an ideal medium for rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises.
What conditions can be treated with aquatic therapy?
Aquatic physical therapy, uses the unique properties of water to facilitate healing and rehabilitation.
It is a gentle yet effective form of therapy for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The therapy takes place in a specialized therapy pool. A qualified physical therapist then guides the patient through exercises and movements designed to address specific needs.
Aquatic therapy is particularly beneficial for conditions that involve pain or limited mobility or that require low-impact exercises. Some of the conditions that can be treated with this therapy include:
- Musculoskeletal conditions: It can provide relief and promote healing for individuals with conditions such as arthritis, cervical disc herniation, cervical stenosis, joint pain, back pain, and facet dysfunction. The buoyancy of water reduces the stress on joints and muscles, allowing for gentle movements and improved range of motion.
- Orthopedic injuries: Whether you're recovering from a fracture, joint-replacement surgery, or a sports-related injury, aquatic physical therapy can play a vital role in your rehabilitation process. The water's buoyancy supports the body, making it easier to perform exercises without placing excessive strain on the injured area.
- Neurological conditions: It can benefit individuals with neurological conditions such as Morton’s neuroma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injuries. This is bundled with MS, Parkinson’s , Stroke which are all Central Nervous system issues and Morton’s Neuroma is a Peripheral nerve issue. The water's resistance provides a gentle yet effective way to improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, and overall functional abilities.
- Chronic pain: For individuals experiencing chronic pain, aquatic physical therapy can offer significant relief. The warm water in the therapy pool helps relax muscles and soothes discomfort, promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Who should not do aquatic therapy?
While this therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, there are a few instances where caution should be exercised. Individuals with open wounds, skin infections, uncontrolled seizures, uncontrolled bowel or bladder incontinence, or a compromised immune system should consult with a healthcare provider before starting this therapy.
What is the difference between hydrotherapy and aquatic therapy?
The terms "hydrotherapy" and "aquatic therapy" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have distinct differences. Hydrotherapy refers to the use of water for therapeutic purposes. This includes treatments such as hot- or cold-water baths, whirlpools, and steam baths. On the other hand, aquatic therapy specifically involves the guidance of a physical therapist in a therapy pool. These exercises and movements are tailored to address individual needs.
Is aqua therapy the same as physical therapy?
Aqua therapy and physical therapy are closely related but not entirely synonymous. Aqua therapy, as mentioned earlier, refers to therapeutic exercises performed in a therapy pool. Physical therapy, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of treatments and techniques. They take place both in and out of the water, aimed at restoring function, reducing pain, and improving overall quality of life. Aqua therapy can be considered a subset of physical therapy, focusing on the benefits of water-based exercises.
Diving into success: Jane's journey to recovery with aquatic therapy
To better understand how this therapy can help a patient, let's consider Jane, a passionate runner who unfortunately experienced a stress fracture in her foot.
After her fracture healed, Jane was eager to get back on track but was concerned about the potential impact of high-impact exercises on her recovering foot. Her physical therapist recommended aquatic therapy as a safe and effective way to rebuild strength and endurance without exacerbating her injury.
Over the course of several weeks, Jane attended physical therapy sessions in our therapy pool. With the guidance of her physical therapist, she engaged in a variety of exercises that targeted her lower-body muscles and gradually increased her cardiovascular fitness. The buoyancy of the water allowed Jane to perform movements with reduced stress on her foot, enabling her to regain strength and confidence.
By the end of her aquatic therapy program, Jane regained her running abilities. She also discovered a newfound appreciation for the therapeutic benefits of water. She continues to incorporate aquatic exercises into her routine to maintain her overall fitness and prevent future injuries.
Discover the transformative power of water
Aquatic physical therapy is a versatile and effective treatment option for various conditions. Whether you're seeking relief from pain, recovering from an injury, or managing a chronic condition, the therapeutic properties of water can work wonders for your rehabilitation. If you're interested in exploring the benefits of therapy, we invite you to reach out to our team at Advanced Care Physical Therapy. Our therapists are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and regain your optimal function. Don't hesitate to take the plunge into aquatic physical therapy and experience for yourself the transformative power of water.
Aquatic therapy at Advanced Care Physical Therapy
Ready to experience the healing benefits of physical therapy? Contact Advanced Care Physical Therapy today, at 716-282-2888, to schedule your appointment and start your journey toward better health and wellness. Our experienced therapists are here to guide you every step of the way. So don't wait—dive into aquatic therapy and make a splash in your rehabilitation!