Aquatic therapy or pool therapy consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. It is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions. Aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance.
Our warm Wilson Therapy Pool is kept at around 92 degrees. It is used daily for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The benefits are:
- Buoyancy– While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. This is especially useful for patients who are overweight, are healing fractured bones, or have arthritis. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises.
- Viscosity– Water provides an excellent source of resistance which allows for muscle strengthening without the need of weights. Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that can not be experienced on land.
- Hydrostatic pressure– This decreases swelling and improves joint position awareness. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, because proprioception decreases. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results after injury or with arthritic disorders.
- Warmth– the water temperature assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.