Aquatic Exercise Therapy

Aquatic therapy or hydrotherapy consists of exercise program that are performed while remaining immersed in water. It is considered, one of the most beneficial therapy to recover and alter medical conditions. The physical property of water assists patients in performing exercises and is curative. Also known as pool therapy or water exercise, it is so designed to relieve patients from back pain and to strengthen muscles. Water acts as a tender cushion and gives placid environment for workout, to extreme cases of diabetes, osteoarthiritis, advanced osteoporosis and also to manage blood pressure.

Physical Properties of Water –

 The properties of water makes it extremely constructive medium to treat back pain and musculoskeletal injuries.

  • Buoyancy

    – while immersed in water buoyancy acts as support to the patient’s weight. This reduces the bearing of weight on joint by lessening stress.

  • Viscosity-

    water gives exceptional source of resistance and strengthening muscles. The combined effort of buoyancy and viscosity builds up powering muscles and diminishes pressure on joints.

  • Hydrostatic Pressure-

    it lessens swelling and recovers joint position. The perpendicular force executed affects the patient’s proprioception in positive way. There is a decrease in joint sprains and torn ligaments.

  • Natural Temperature

    – the natural temperature of water loosens and relaxes muscles, it vasodilates vessels by increasing the blood circulation.

Benefits of Water Therapy-

All the properties work together and execute a force that is supportive to the spine and decreases the axial load. Exercises of arms and shoulders improve, strength and treats osteoarthiritis. The mild resistance and supportive nature of water helps a person to get less tired of exercising, will experience less pain. movement of water against the body assist the movement of lymph and blood without stressing other parts of body. Sensitivity to pain is highly lessened making it a delightful experience. The buoyancy helps in improving the range and positions making workout easier for obese people. The virtual elimination of gravity facilitates people with joint pain and arthritis and fractured bone, to exercise in a comfortable way. Stretching exercises for abdomen and for flexing becomes much easier in water as the leg is supported with water and the person becomes skilled at the correct positioning.

Precautions –

  • In any exercising routine staying hydrated is a must. Similarly swimming is a physical activity that makes good use of muscles and limbs. The body looses water and it is recommended to keep body hydrated properly.
  • Application of a protective lotion on affected area or limb prevents from drying out. While working in sun, a good sunscreen lotion works effectively.
  • Always wear protective footwear while walking around the pool and shower area to avoid any fungal infection. An antifungal powder between toes and creases can be rubbed after session.
  • All these water-based exercises should be performed under the able guidance of a qualified professional.
  • Avoid therapy if a person has fever, infection, heart problems and incontinence.
  • Usually most of the pools are chlorinated. A generous application of wax or petroleum jelly protects the skin from drying due to excessive chlorination.

Problems That Can be Treated With Aquatic Therapy-

  • Athletic injuries.
  • Arthritis.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Lymph edema
  • Chronic pains of back, neck and joints.
  • Neurological disorders.