The warm water of an aquatic therapy session increases blood flow to the body, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to injured or achy muscles. This, in turn, can help reduce muscle pain and speed recovery. The specialized exercises performed in the water, including underwater walking and stair training, strengthen muscles and build endurance in a supportive, low-impact environment.
Water’s buoyancy reduces pressure on weight-bearing joints and muscles, so people who can’t perform land-based exercises can get a full workout in a safe, comfortable environment. This helps reduce pain and discomfort associated with certain conditions, such as fibromyalgia or arthritic joints. It also helps people with balance and gait deficits feel more confident exercising in the water, so they’re more likely to keep up with their physical therapy and improve their overall fitness levels.
A typical aquatic therapy session lasts about 30 minutes and is conducted in a temperature-controlled pool. An Ace Allied Health therapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that includes water-based exercise and dry land exercises. Your therapist may recommend a combination of techniques, such as resistance training, stretching, and floatation supports, depending on your needs.
Your physio Maryborough will explain what to expect from your aquatic therapy sessions and will provide you with an exercise program that is appropriate for your condition. You may participate in aquatic therapy on your own or with a group of other individuals with similar health needs. While you’ll usually exercise in groups, the therapists will still tailor your workout to meet your specific goals.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
The unique properties of the water help you achieve better movement and flexibility, increase your strength, and improve your mood. The warm, soothing water relieves joint and muscle pain to allow you to move more freely and comfortably. The increased blood flow to your muscles and joints stimulates muscle fibers, strengthening them, and improving tone while decreasing pain and stiffness.
Research shows that the uniform pressure of the water decreases your risk of falling, making it safer to practice balance and coordination exercises. It also gives you more time to react if you lose your balance, so you can become less afraid of falling and more confident with your movements.
The buoyancy of the water also makes your respiratory muscles work harder, helping to strengthen them and enhance cardiovascular output. Soaking up the benefits of a warm bath, aquatic therapy increases your heart rate and promotes muscle repair, making it an excellent option for patients with diabetes or other metabolic disorders that affect circulation. This type of therapy can also help increase circulation in the extremities, improve flexibility and mobility, relieve pain and swelling, and promote weight loss. It can even help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. This form of physical therapy is growing in popularity because it can be a quicker and more effective alternative to traditional land-based programs for many individuals with health concerns such as chronic pain or limited mobility.