Can Aquatic Therapy be the solution you have been looking for in regard to your unique rehab needs? Keep reading to see how it can help you and how is it different from other Physical Therapy Options.
How Do Physical Therapists Use Aquatics For Rehab?
Physical therapists utilize aquatic physical therapy because there are several properties of the water that can assist in the healing and rehabilitation process.
Buoyancy helps in supporting the weight of the patient. It helps to “unload” the spine and the joints. When joints are painful to move and bend, it becomes easier once submersed, to get the tissue loosened. Often patients who walk with crutches and walkers, once in the water, can walk normal because of this “unloading” effect of the water. Pain is reduced because of the buoyancy and the warmth of the water.
The hydrostatic pressure of the water helps to decrease swelling and improve the mobility of the joints and tissues. Swollen ankle, knee and limb issues related to injury and disease processes, become easier to move and are less painful, thus helping to speed the healing process and promote wellness.
Common injuries/conditions that often benefit from aquatic PT:
Arthritis including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis conditions
Low back pain including disc issues, sprains and strains
Post-surgical conditions- total joint replacement, back surgeries, hip/knee/ankle
Fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders
Deconditioned patients after injury/surgery/illness
The most common misconceptions about aquatic PT
As beneficial as Aquatic Therapy can be for specific patients and their specific cases, some patients still are skeptical or fearful about approaching it. Below, we outline some of the most popular misconceptions about Aquatic Therapy:
"I can’t do aquatic PT because I don’t know how to swim."
(The aquatic therapist works with many patients who are non-swimmers and adjusts the program to accommodate need and level)
"Land PT didn’t help so aquatic PT won’t either."
(The gravity reduction in the pool can benefit patients who did not respond to physical therapy on land.
Interest in trying Aquatic Therapy?
For more information about aquatic PT or to consult a PT to see if you are a candidate for aquatic physical therapy, contact MTS for more information.