We all know how it feels to dip in a pool after a long day in summer, but do you know this can be used as a form of therapy?
While exercising on a rigid floor provides several advantages, it may not be suitable for patients with persistent pain, weakness, stiffness, or weight-bearing problems. This is where many physicians recommend aquatic therapy.
Since we get the feeling of weighing less underwater, because of the buoyancy and gentle but effective resistance along with uniform pressure, it is much easier to move your joints and carry weight when you are submerged. This reduces pain and improves mobility and function significantly.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
The water temperature used in aquatic therapy is between 92 to 94° F, which increases blood supply to sore muscles and helps relax them.
The warm water alleviates pain and muscle spasms and relaxes tight muscles. Since the water slows and buffers movement, you may have little to no discomfort.
Swelling is Reduced
The improved blood circulation reduces edema and decreases soft tissue and joint inflammation, which ultimately improves your range of motion and decreases swelling.
When the swelling and pain are decreased, there is an improvement in the range of motion. Moreover, the buoyancy of the water reduces the effects of gravity allowing greater flexibility during aquatic therapy.
Water is the perfect environment for patients, who do not have enough strength or balance to perform exercises on land. The uniform pressure of the water around you and the buoyancy helps in providing support to your body, and the chances of falling and complicating any existing condition become almost negligible.
Increased Muscle Strength
The water has up to 700 times more resistance than air, which allows weakened muscles to build strength, and the use of equipment like floating devices encourages even more strength generation and building when you move around while in the water.
When you are recovering from something, aquatic therapy allows you to start therapy earlier and to move more freely without pain or strain on the joints. This is because water eliminates the effects of gravity on the body. This is especially good for people, who have had surgery on their lower extremities, shoulders, or back, allowing them to move normally in a quicker period.
Implementing aquatic therapy into your recovery program helps with both the body and mind. Patients are more compliant with it as aquatic therapy is painless and fun. If you want to start aquatic therapy, talk with your doctor or an orthopedic specialist who can help you with planning a structured exercise program that suits you best.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides the most effective, modern, and innovative techniques in both Orthopedic Surgery and Pain Management using proven methodologies in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of all conditions affecting the spine, upper extremities, and lower extremities. We specialize in hand and wrist surgery, joint replacements, sports medicine, trauma care, pediatric orthopedics, pain management, wound care, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, imaging services, and EMG testing.