Keeping with the complete approach to wellness at Physical Therapy Associates we offer aquatic based physical therapy treatments in our specialized therapy pool. You may have heard of aquatic therapy,
and most likely wondered what benefits exercising in water provides. In order to understand why aquatic therapy may be right for you we need to discuss how our therapist harness some key properties of water.
Buoyancy is what makes items float in water. When you are submerged in water your bodies tissues are lifted, and the affects of gravity are decreased on your joints and spine. This allows for more pain free and improved range of motion as well as more in depth strengthening and carryover to your physical therapy treatments on land.
Viscosity is the resistance provided by the cellular bonds that are constantly breaking and forming in water. This is what makes running through water, or moving your open hand, difficult and slower under water than in open air. This is a truly gentle form of resistance that can be modified by our therapists to target your affected tissues with appropriate force.
Hydrostatic pressure is an inward force perpendicular to your body that is applied in water. This reduces swelling in the arms and legs and helps your blood return to your heart more quickly for more efficient exercise.
At Physical Therapy Associates our pool is heated to allow relaxation and improved elasticity of muscles, features underwater treadmills for effective cross training, and is equipped with mechanical current that can be used for swimming in place or as an additional challenge during aquatic exercise. This allows our pool to benefit a diverse population. From seniors trying to increase their walking distance in the community, to those rehabilitating following a knee surgery, all the way to high level triathletes, and many more!
Hopefully this information will help you to understand why your physician or evaluating physical therapist recommends aquatic therapy. Have a happy and healthy week and remember: If its physical its therapy!
Written by: Colten Yeigh, PTA