You know how important it is for your health to drink plenty of water. It is, after all, one of the essential elements of life. Though it’s been used for years, some people may not recognize the optimum healing and rehabilitative effect that aquatic therapy can provide. Water is the best environment to achieve full function, no matter what your injury or issue is.
What is it?
Physical therapy that is done in a pool or other aquatic environment is known by several different names including aquatherapy, aquatic therapy, water therapy, pool therapy, hydrotherapy, therapeutic aquatic exercise, or aquatic rehabilitation. It’s done under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional and is appropriate for children, as well as adults, and the elderly.
You may assume that aquatherapy is a new idea, but it’s actually been around for thousands of years!
Here’s the proof:
Ancient Romans and Greeks were common practitioners of bathing in hot springs in order to relax and improve circulation.
Hippocrates advocated a bath in spring water as a way to treat sickness.
Swiss monks used warm water to care for the disabled and ill in their community.
Japanese hot springs are commonly used for ailments such as menstrual disorders, skin problems, constipation, and chronic pain.
Doctors in Germany strongly advocated water birthing and pediatric water therapy in the 1960s and 1970s.
Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful benefits aquatherapy can provide:
Muscle relaxation. Warm water causes the muscles to relax and also improves peripheral circulation.
Provides resistance. The force of the water provides natural strength training.
Promotes body awareness. The warmth of the water helps you to be more in tune with your body, improves balance, and helps with trunk stability.
Gentle on injuries. If you’ve been injured or are rehabbing from a surgery, aquatherapy can provide you with strength training without putting any more stress or risking damage to your injury.
Lowered pain sensitivity. Water’s natural buoyancy alleviates much of the pain associated with related to injured or damaged joints and muscles.
Improved attitude. When you feel that you’re making progress, your attitude improves and you have the drive to keep pushing forward.
What conditions does aquatherapy help?
There are a whole host of health circumstances that can be improved by aquatic therapy.
Here are the most common:
Arthroscopic surgery recovery
Idiopathic joint pain
Joint reconstruction surgery recovery
Joint replacement surgery recovery
Lower back pain
Spinal cord injury
Sprains and strains
Traumatic Brain Injury
As advances are being made, it’s quite possible that more ailments and/or injuries could be added to this list.
The great benefit of aquatherapy is that it provides a place for those who are injured or disabled to exercise, rehab, and regain strength and mobility in a way that they couldn’t do on land.