Physical therapy is an integral part of any rehabilitation plan, but sometimes on the road to improvements in pain and immobility is full of discomfort and difficulty of its own. Aquatic therapy offers all the benefits of regular physical therapy with a few additional advantages of its own. By engaging in physical therapy in a pool, you can perform exercises that wouldn’t be possible on dry ground. This is because of the weight-supporting buoyancy that takes stress off your joints.
Our physical therapists Roy Rivera, Jr., PT, PhD, DPT, and Jordan Boyd, PT, DPT rely on aquatic therapy to rehabilitate various conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system. Here at Elation Physical Therapy, we help you build your physical strength and mobility using this gentle approach.
Here are some of the conditions that benefit from aquatic therapy most:
Joint pain and arthritis
Joint pain and arthritis are, in many cases, one and the same. There are a few different types of arthritis that all involve pain and inflammation in the joints throughout your body. Whether you have one arthritic joint or many, the condition tends to get worse over time if you don’t manage it and can lead to permanent stiffness and difficulty functioning.
If you have arthritic hips, knees, or spinal joints, performing your physical therapy exercises in the water promotes smoother joint movement with gentle resistance. On the other hand, high-impact physical activities, such as running, biking, or even walking, may make the joint pain worse.
Breaking a bone can happen due to traumatic impact or because of repeated stress on a particular bone (stress fracture). Whether or not your fracture was severe enough to need surgery, making a full recovery takes some time and you’ll need to ease back into some of your typical movements and functions.
Just like with aquatic therapy for arthritis, aquatic therapy for fractures aids in exercises due to the gentle resistance and buoyancy. Additionally, swelling around the injury goes down due to the hydrostatic pressure of the water. Less swelling means less pain and a greater range of motion.
Recurrent muscle spasms can be an uncomfortable or painful inconvenience. They can appear as the result of overuse or fatigue. Whether you’re an athlete or someone who works in a physically demanding occupation, muscle spasms can become a part of your day-to-day life.
During aquatic therapy, the warm water in the pool soothes painful and overused muscles, which helps them relax so they don’t cramp. The water’s pressure and temperature both promote vasodilation, which is the widening of blood vessels, to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
If you experience musculoskeletal pain of any kind and are interested in finding out if aquatic therapy could be beneficial, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Elation Physical Therapy today.