Aquatic therapy is a type of physical therapy that takes place in the water and is especially helpful for people who cannot perform activities that put an excess amount of pressure or strain on their joints and muscles. Because aquatic exercise is low impact, it can be performed by almost anyone, and it is a good way for people to build strength and improve health without having to perform more difficult weight bearing exercise. Below are different types of water therapy equipment that patients who want to participate in aquatic therapy will find helpful.
The types of people who will most benefit from aquatic therapy and the various types of aquatic therapy equipment include the elderly population, overweight patients, clients who suffer from arthritis or other joint debilitating diseases, and patients who have suffered from serious accidents that cause severe pain. Most aquatic therapy is performed in a pool and the types of therapy equipment that can be used include flotation devices, water weights, and resistance bands. Additionally, the water itself can be used as a therapy tool because it provides different levels of resistance that can be used for strength training in a similar fashion to weights.
The benefits of water therapy include muscle strengthening, heart health, faster healing, reduced stress on joints, and less pain. There is also a soothing quality in being immersed in water during which swelling of an injured area can decrease and blood flow can increase. This makes water therapy particularly useful for reducing pain when a patient has been severely injured. Most patients who participate in aquatic therapy will also benefit from increased proprioception, which is an awareness of where our bodies and body parts are in relation to other objects.
If a patient is interested in participating in water therapy, they should speak with their health care provider right away to see if they are a good candidate for it. Although aquatic therapy is low impact, not all patients are immediately qualified to take advantage of it. It is important for patients to find out if they are a good candidate before they become immersed in any type of aquatic therapy so that they do not cause further injury or stress to their bodies. Once a patient has been cleared, they should find a therapist who specializes in water therapy and can help them during their personal rehabilitation process. Through the use of water rehabilitation tools many people will be able to find the healing and pain relief that they are seeking.