What is Aquatic Physcial Therapy?
Aquatic physical therapy is the practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment (typically between 84 to 92 degrees). Treatments are carried out by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant under the supervision of a physical therapist.
The properties of water are beneficial for a wide variety of people with a wide variety of issues. Water buoyancy gives your body support which provides benefits such as decreased weight bearing, decreased fear of falling, support of weak muscle, increased flexibility and ROM. Water resistance is the force created between you and the water. Resisted movement can create benefit for muscle tone, muscle balance and the cardiovascular system. Hyrdrostatic pressure is the pressure the water exerts on the body and can decrease pain, increase range of motion, assist circulation and decrease heart rate.
Who Will Benefit from Aquatic Physical Therapy?
A large spectrum of people can benefit from aquatic physical therapy including patients diagnosed with:
- Balance Deficits
- Joint Replacements
- Orthopedic Injuries
What to Expect During Your Aquatic Physical Therapy Session
Please be prepared to wear swimming pool appropriate gear. Swim suits can be covered with light weight shorts and a t-shirt for modesty if desired.
You will spend around one hour in the pool. The water depth will range from 3 feet 10 inches to 4 feet 8 inches at the pool’s deepest point. You will use a variety of equipment to increase resistance, increase cardiovascular demand and challenge balance. This same equipment can also be used to assist walking, assist with balance and increase buoyancy.
Your aquatics program will be individualized based on your overall health and condition.